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August 5, 2022

COVID-19 health concern increases in July: Poll

The health concern over COVID-19 in July 2022 increased averaging at 27.7%, compared to 23.9% recorded in June 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 increases in the second week of July

The concern during the first week of July averaged at 23.9% declining from 25.4% in the last week of June and coinciding with the decline in the number of new weekly cases and deaths reported globally.

More than 4.6 million new COVID-19 cases were reported during the week of 27 June and 3 July 2022, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) data. The number of new weekly deaths also declined by 12% during the week.

The concern, however, increased in the second week of July to an average of 28.9%, as the number of new cases increased by 6% to 5.7 million between 04 and 10 July 2022 compared to the previous week. The number of new weekly deaths was similar to that recorded in the previous week, according to WHO data.

The Western Pacific Region, the Eastern Mediterranean Region, and the South-East Asia Region reported increases in new weekly cases by 28%, 25% and 5% respectively, while the number of new weekly cases declined in the African Region and remained similar to the previous week’s in the European Region and the Region of the Americas.

Concern increases in third week, followed by a decline

COVID-19 health concern increased further to 29.7% in the third week of July, despite the number of weekly cases having plateaued globally between 11 and 17 July 2022, with just under 6.3 million new cases after an increasing trend for the past five weeks, according to WHO. The number of new weekly deaths, however, increased with 11,000 fatalities being reported.

The Western Pacific Region, the Region of the Americas, and the South-East Asia Region reported increases in new weekly cases by 37%, 9%, and 5% respectively, while the cases decreased in the Africa Region and the European Region by 27% and 16% respectively. Meanwhile, the number of new weekly cases in the Eastern Mediterranean Region was similar to that reported in the previous week.

COVID concern, however, decreased to 26.5% in the fourth week of July, as the number of weekly cases reported between 18 and 24 July 2022 remained nearly unchanged compared to the previous week. The number of new weekly deaths reported also was similar to that in the previous week, with over 12,600 fatalities, according to WHO.

The health concern over COVID-19 increased marginally in the fifth week of July to 27.07% although the number of new cases declined by 9% between 25 and 31 July compared to the previous week.

The WHO further stated that BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron subvariants continued to be dominant globally, with an increase in weekly prevalence. The incidence of BA.4 cases between 10 to 16 July and 17 to 23 July increased from 63.8% to 69.6%, while that of BA.5 increased from 10.9% to 11.8%. Contrarily, BA.2 and BA.2.12.1 sequences exhibited a decline from 4.4% to 1.9% and from 2% to 1.5% respectively during the same period.

The analysis is based on a total of 610 responses received from the readers of Verdict network sites between 01 and 31 July 2022.

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