The health concern over COVID-19 in April 2022 decreased from March, shows the COVID-19 concern index, which is measured by responses to an ongoing poll Verdict launched in March 2020. The poll has been tracking how the concerns over coronavirus have been changing over time.
The poll asked how concerned the respondents were about the spread of coronavirus and included five options to choose from – very concerned, slightly concerned, neither concerned nor unconcerned, not very concerned, and not concerned.
Concern index is based on respondents who answered that they are very concerned about the spread of COVID-19.
COVID-19 concern declines in the second week of April
The health concern over COVID-19 in April 2022 averaged at 25.9% declining from 26.1% recorded in March 2022. The concern during the first week of April averaged at 26.1% similar to the week that preceded as the number of new cases and deaths declined globally.
The number of new COVID-19 cases declined by 16% between 28 March and 03 April from the previous week, according to data from the World Health Organization (WHO). The number of new deaths also declined by 43% during the week.
COVID concern in the second week of April declined to 24%, as the number of new cases continued to decline by 24% between 04 and 10 March. The European, Western Pacific, and African regions reported the highest decline in new weekly coronavirus cases by 26%, 26% and 17% respectively, compared to the previous week.
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Concern rises towards the end of April
COVID-19 health concern declined to 21.67% in the third week of April, coinciding with the continued decline in the number of new weekly cases and deaths. The number of new cases and deaths declined by 24% and 12% respectively, between 11 and 17 April, compared to the previous week. The Western Pacific region reported the highest decline in the number of new cases at 28%, followed by the Eastern Mediterranean region (26%) and European region (25%).
The concern, however, increased to 26.82% in the fourth week of April as some regions reported an increase in new cases although a 21% decline in the number of new cases was reported globally. The Africa region reported the highest increase in new cases at 32%, followed by the Americas at 9%.
The WHO noted that the surge in cases may be due to the higher transmissibility of the Omicron variant, which is currently the dominant variant circulating globally. The higher immune escape properties of the variant coupled with waning immunity caused by declining vaccine effectiveness led to the surge in cases.
COVID concern increased further to 30.98% in the last week of April as some regions continued to report an increase in the number of new cases. The number of new cases globally, however, declined by 17% between 25 April and 01 May from the week that preceded. The African region reported a 31% increase in the number of new cases, followed by the Americas at 13%.
The WHO noted that the trends related to the number of new cases and deaths should be interpreted with caution due to a change in COVID-19 testing strategies adopted by several countries that led to a lower number of cases being detected.
The analysis is based on a total of 590 responses received from the readers of Verdict network sites between 01 and 30 April 2022.