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June 7, 2022updated 08 Jun 2022 12:35pm

COVID-19 health concern declines in May: Poll

The health concern over COVID-19 in May 2022 decreased from April 2022, 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 stabilises in the second week of May

The health concern over COVID-19 in May 2022 averaged at 25.3%, declining from 25.9% recorded in April 2022. The concern during the first week of May averaged at 25.3% from 30.79% in the last week of April, owing to a decline in the number of new cases and deaths globally.

The number of new weekly COVID-19 cases declined by 12% between 02 May and 08 May, according to data from the World Health Organization (WHO). The number of new weekly deaths also declined by 25% during the week compared to 3% in the previous week.

COVID concern declined further in the second week of May to an average of 23.08%. The number of new coronavirus cases recorded between 09 May and 15 May 2022 increased marginally by 1%, compared to the previous week. The number of new weekly deaths declined by 21% during the same week.

The Eastern Mediterranean Region, the Region of the Americas, the Western Pacific Region, and the African Region reported increases in new weekly cases by 63%, 26%, 14%, and 6% respectively, while the numbers decreased in Europe and South-East Asia. The number of new weekly deaths declined across all regions, except the African Region, which reported a 48% increase in new weekly deaths.

Concern increases in the third week of the month

COVID-19 health concern increased to 26.8% in the third week of May, despite a decline in the number of new weekly cases and deaths by 3% and 11% respectively between 16 May and 22 May, compared to the previous week. The Region of the Americas and the Western Pacific reported increases in new weekly cases by 13% and 6% respectively, while decreasing trends were reported from all the other four regions, according to WHO’s data.

About 43% of the countries in the Region of the Americas reported a 20% or more increase in new weekly cases, while 25% of the countries in the Western Pacific reported a 20% or more increase in new weekly cases. The US, China, Australia, Germany, and Japan reported the highest number of new weekly cases in the third week.

The concern, however, decreased to 25.8% in the fourth week of May, as the number of new weekly cases continued to decline. More than 3.3 million new cases, representing an 11% decrease in new cases, were reported compared to the previous week, according to WHO. The number of new weekly deaths also declined by 3% compared to the previous week.

The WHO maintains that the Omicron variant continues to be the dominant variant spreading globally, accounting for all the recent surges across countries and regions due to higher transmissibility. The BA.1 sub-lineage of the variant declined in incidence from 7% to 4%, although the incidence of the other three sub-lineages including BA.2.12.1, BA.4, and BA.5 increased to 16%, 3%, and 2% respectively.

The analysis is based on a total of 765 responses received from the readers of Verdict network sites between 01 and 31 May 2022.

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