One in seven would avoid Chinese people over coronavirus fears

14 February 2020, 09:28

The survey found the public were less likely to shake hands with people due to coronavirus
The survey found the public were less likely to shake hands with people due to coronavirus. Picture: PA
EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

The threat of coronavirus could have a significant impact on the public's behaviour, a new poll has found.

Fourteen per cent of the public would avoid contact with people of Chinese origin or appearance as fears over coronavirus deepen.

A poll showing how the British public might change their behaviours because of ongoing coronavirus of the virus has been carried out by Ipsos MORI.

The threat of the virus could have a huge impact on the UK public's behaviour, including 77 per cent of people who said they would be less likely to travel to China long-term.

Sixty per cent of people even think that major international events like the Olympics could be in jeopardy.

Two-thirds of people in the UK say they would consider avoiding travelling to infected countries or areas, while three in ten would avoid large gatherings of people or travelling by air for holidays

A quarter of the public claim they would avoid shaking hands with others and one in five say they would avoid travelling by public transport.

The worldwide survey was carried out online from February 7 to 9, 2020 among 8,001 adults aged 16 (18) -74 in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

While the UK public is concerned about the long-term impact of the virus, they do have confidence in many of the organisations tasked with dealing with it. Confidence is highest in local health services, health professionals and the World Health Organization.

Ben Page, CEO Ipsos MORI says: “Our research shows that there is a high level of awareness of the outbreak and a belief that we have some way to go before it is contained. High levels of concern are likely to be the driver for the behavior changes people are considering.

It is, however, encouraging that there are also high levels of trust in the health services and professionals in the UK to deal with it effectively.“