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September 7, 2021updated 04 Oct 2021 4:07pm

Concern over COVID-19 rises in August for second straight month: Poll

The health concern over COVID-19 increased in August for the second consecutive month, 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.

Concern increases marginally in the second week

The COVID-19 concern in August averaged at 45.6% increasing from 41.7% in July and 37.8% in June. The concern during the first week of August was at the same level as in the last week of July averaging at 44.5% as the number of new cases globally crossed 200 million, within six months of crossing 100 million.

The number of new cases and deaths reached 4.2 million and 65,000 respectively during the first week, a marginal increase from the previous week. The increase in new cases was the highest in the Americas (14%) and Western Pacific region (19%).

The concern increased marginally in the second week to 45.7% as the number of new cases increased to 4.4 million during the week as the Americas (8%) and Western Pacific regions (14%) continued to report rise in the number of cases. The highest number of new cases were reported from the US (35% increase over previous week), followed by Iran (20% increase over previous week) between 09 August and 15 August.

COVID-19 Concern Index Chart August 2021

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Concern remains steady in the third week, but increasing marginally in the fourth week

The health concern remained steady in the third week at 45.4% as the number of new cases remained stable after having increased for the past two months. The number of new cases in the Western Pacific and Americas regions, meanwhile, continued to increase at 20% and 8% respectively between 16 August and 22 August compared to the previous week. The South-East Asia and Eastern Mediterranean regions reported decrease in new cases at 16% and 10% respectively, while the US continued to report increase in new cases at 15%, followed by the UK at 11%. The number of countries reporting Variants of Concern (VoCs) continued to increase, with the Delta variant reported to have spread to 163 countries.

The COVID-19 concern increased marginally in the fourth week to 46.9%. The number of new cases between 23 and 29 August increased by 7% compared to the previous week in the Western Pacific region, while declining for the Africa and the Americas regions. The highest number of cases were reported by India (17% increase) and the UK (8% increase). The Delta variant spread to 170 countries by the end of August.

The analysis is based on a total of 1,774 responses received from readers of Verdict network sites between 01 and 31 August 2021.

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