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August 6, 2021updated 04 Oct 2021 4:08pm

Concern over COVID-19 rises in July from lows witnessed in June: Poll

The health concern over COVID-19 increased in July after it declined to the lowest levels since the start of the pandemic in June, 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.

The COVID-19 concern during the first week of July remained at levels similar to those in the last week of June averaging at 37% even as the number of new cases increased after witnessing a decline for seven consecutive weeks. All regions reported increase in the number of new cases except for the Americas. The number of new deaths, however, continued to fall with a 7% decline registered globally between 29 June and 04 July.

The health concern, however, increased in the second week to 39.3% as the number of new cases continued to increase and the Delta variant spread to more than 100 countries. The number of new cases between 05 July and 11 July increased by 10% compared to the previous week. The number of deaths also increased by 3% after declining for nine consecutive weeks. Indonesia and the UK reported the highest increase in the number of new cases.

The concern rose further in the third week to 42.5% as the transmission of Variants of Concern (VOCs) identified by the World Health Organization (WHO) continued along with relaxation of public health social measures. The number of new cases between 12 July and 18 July increased by 12% compared to the week before, while the number of deaths were similar to those in the previous week. The number of countries that reported the Delta variant increased to 124.

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The COVID-19 concern continued to increase in the fourth week to 45.1%. The number of new cases between 19 and 25 July increased by 8%, while the number of deaths rose by 21% with the Americas and South-East Asia regions reporting the highest number of deaths. The Delta variant spread to 134 countries during that week.

The health concern declined marginally in the last week of July to 43.5% as the number of new cases continued to increase. Eastern Mediterranean and the Western Pacific Regions reported the highest increases of 37% and 33% respectively between 26 July and 01 August. A total of 135 countries reported the Delta variant. The WHO, in response to the surge in COVID cases due to the Delta variant, launched the Rapid ACT-Accelerator Delta Response (RADAR) calling for the need to raise $7.7bn towards tests, treatments and vaccines.

Concern over COVID-19 rises in July from lows witnessed in June: Poll

The analysis is based on a total of 1,985 responses received from readers of Verdict network sites between 01 and 31 July 2021.

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