International COVID-19 tracker update: 22 June

Matthew SmithLead data journalist
June 22, 2020, 9:01 AM UTC

Latest round-up of YouGov’s coronavirus survey results

Government approval

Things remain stagnant at the bottom of the table. Mexico’s government continues to come last, with the 37% of Mexicans saying they are doing a good job largely the same as the week prior (36%). Likewise, the 58% who say they are doing a bad job remains unchanged.

In the UK too, the government languishes second from bottom on much the same score as the week before. Four in ten Brits (40%) think their rulers have been handling the crisis well (compared to 39% the seven days earlier), while 58% think they are handling it poorly (from 56%).

 

Poland’s government, on the other hand, has taken a real hit. The proportion of Poles saying the government has been handling the crisis well has fallen from 44% to 38%, while the number saying they have handled it badly has risen from 46% to 52%. This means the nation’s net score has fallen from -2 to -14, equalling its worst ever score back in mid-May.

Confidence in the Indian government continues to circle downwards. At present Modi’s government still has a relatively healthy score – 68% approve compared to 29% who disapprove, giving a net score of +39. But this figure is down from +70 four weeks previously, and is in fact a ten point decline on the week before.

Figures in France, however, have seen a rapid improvement. With the proportion of French people thinking the government is doing well rising to 48% and the proportion thinking it is doing badly falling to 46%, the French government has a positive net score for the first time since late March. Perhaps more remarkable still is that this net score of +2 has risen from as low as -22 just three weeks prior.

As ever, Vietnam sits comfortably at the top of the table with 97% of citizens approving of the government’s response to the outbreak. Close behind are Malaysia (95%) and Taiwan (91%).

Global and national improvement

Perhaps the most remarkable week-on-week shift in the tracker has taken place in Saudi Arabia.

With coronavirus cases reaching new heights at the time the most recent survey was conducted in that country (15 June), belief that the situation was improving in the country fell to 40% from 63% the week before. At the same time, the proportion of Saudis believing it was getting worse rose from 27% to 50%.

This also had a subsequent knock-on effect on Saudis’ view of the global situation, with the proportion believing that worldwide the coronavirus outbreak is being brought under control falling from 57% to 48%.

Case numbers in Saudi Arabia have fallen rapidly since this survey, which is likely to be reflected in next week’s update.

The situation couldn’t be more different in the neighbouring UAE. Coronavirus case rates there have been falling since 22 May, and this is clear to see from the figures. On 25 May only 47% of Emiratis thought the national situation was getting better – the lowest figure YouGov has recorded. Since then that figure has risen every week, and now stands at 81%.

 

Elsewhere, India has overtaken Mexico for the dubious honour of having the fewest people thinking the coronavirus outbreak is easing off in their country. This figure stands at 21% in India (from 33% last week) and 23% in Mexico (from 24%).

The two countries continue to have unique outlooks when it comes to the global situation – Mexicans stand alone in thinking that globally things are getting better (60%) even while in their own country they are getting worse. Indians, however, continue to be unlikely to think that things are getting better worldwide (39%).

Confidence in health authorities

There has been a marked decline in confidence in health authorities in India, falling from 74% to 64% in the space of a week.

This is in line with continually rising coronavirus case numbers, and comes at the same time as falling confidence in the government and the national outlook.

It is possible to see from the figures two different types of country: ones where the government and health service figures move in lockstep, and ones where they don’t.

The latter countries are effectively ones where people believe the healthcare system to have been doing well in spite of the national government. Most notable among these countries are the UK and Spain, where confidence in the health authorities far outstrips that of the government.

 

The other group are countries that have either handled the outbreak well or badly, and the figures match. In India and Mexico, for instance, the virus is still rampant, and the low government figures are matched by low confidence in healthcare authorities.

Similarly, in places like Germany and Australia, where the virus has been brought under control, high government approval figures are matched by largely identical confidence in health authorities figures.

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