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Turkey most successful in fight against the pandemic, survey shows

Turkey most successful in fight against the pandemic, survey shows

The public’s compliance with measures against the coronavirus may be shaky at times, but a poll by Ipsos shows Turkey tops the list of most successful countries in the fight against the pandemic.

“Coronavirus Pandemic and Society Research” by the leading firm has been updated weekly since Turkey reported its first case in March. The survey gives insight into public awareness on the issue, people’s concerns and changing behavior toward the novel disease that has claimed thousands of lives across the globe. It also delves into the scale of public response to the government policies to handle the crisis.

The latest edition of the survey conducted online with 800 people asked participants about their opinion of nine countries’ performance against the pandemic. Turkey topped the list while South Korea came second. The United States fared worst according to interviewees. Indeed, seven out of every 10 people who participated in the survey thought the U.S’ performance in managing the crisis was the worst. The U.S. is followed by Italy in the worst performance.

Starting in early June, Turkey eased the majority of restrictions in daily life while the public appeared to relax their own measures. The survey shows that people are still pessimistic about the future of the pandemic despite switching to a “new normal” where they should comply with rules like wearing masks while still going about their daily routines. Only one-third of participants of the survey believe the difficult days are in the past, while others believe more difficult days are still ahead. The pessimistic opinion is more prevalent among those with the highest and the lowest socioeconomic status.

The anxiety felt in the first days of the pandemic is replaced with fatigue, and this feeling of fatigue is more common among women, the survey shows.

Sidar Gedik, Ipsos Turkey CEO, told Anadolu Agency (AA) that the interviewees believed that health care workers and the Health Ministry had done well in fighting the pandemic. “The rate of interviewees finding both successful has never been below 90% since we started the first surveys in the early days of the pandemic. It even rose to 95% at times. The Turkish public also closely monitors the situation abroad, and everyone agrees South Korea also fared well, based on the correlation of cases and the population. The Turkish public is also aware of big problems some countries encounter in fighting the pandemic, namely, the United States and Brazil, as well as Italy and Spain,” Gedik said. He said the Turkish public has also been sensitive in wearing masks and nine out of every 10 people wore masks, while meticulous personal hygiene habits already existed in Turkish society before the pandemic. One thing Turks fail at is social distancing. Gedik said the Turkish public’s social tendency to congregate is a serious problem that needs to be resolved. “People tend to avoid warning people not careful about social distancing – 25% (of interviewees) said this,” he points out.