Survey Findings on Views about COVID-19 Released by Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies at CUHK
The COVID-19, which has lasted for nearly half a year, still shows no signs of ending. A survey by the Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies of The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) found that nearly 60% of the respondents were worried or very worried about a second wave of local outbreaks. As many places around the world continue to be affected by the epidemic, about 70% of the respondents estimated that their chance of travelling abroad in the coming year to be rather small or very small.
The results showed that 57.7% of respondents were worried or very worried about a second-wave outbreak in Hong Kong, while 39.0% were neither worried nor very worried. In addition, 67.2% of the respondents said that after the COVID-19 epidemic had passed, they certainly would store anti-infection items, such as masks and disinfectant, at home for a long period. 24.3% said they might do so, while 3.0% replied that they might not, and 4.1% claimed they certainly would not.
The epidemic is greatly impacting the tourism industry around the world. The survey found that 71.4% of the respondents estimated that their chance of going to travel in the coming year was rather small or very small. Only 17.1% of respondents believed that their chance to travel abroad was either rather big or very big.
Among those who felt that their chance of going to travel was either rather small or very small, 78.0% of them said that “whether the local epidemic was under control” was their major concern for whether they would travel in the coming year. 70.7% answered the major concern was “the chance of infection during the trip”, while 64.8% said that “whether they would be quarantined after returning to Hong Kong” was their main consideration. Of those who felt that their chance of going to travel was either rather big or very big, 53.7% of them said they would certainly not travel to countries or regions where the epidemic was not under control. 11.6% answered that they might not. Only 22.3% said they might, and 9.1% claimed that they would certainly do so.
For the overall economic conditions, 71.7% of the respondents were worried or very worried about a recession in Hong Kong, and only 24.2% said they were not worried or very worried. About 45.6% of the respondents indicated that their household income had been reduced due to the epidemic. Compared with the same series of survey conducted in May, the results on the fear of economic depression and decline in household income have remained largely constant. The statistical significance test (Chi-square test) also showed that there was no significant difference in the percentage distribution between the two surveys.
In terms of concerns about the epidemic, 74.3% of respondents thought the epidemic had eased compared to the previous month (May), 21.8% thought it was about the same, and only 2.7% felt it had worsened. In comparison with the May survey, not much difference was found. Chi-square tests also showed that there were no statistically significant differences in the percentage distributions of the two surveys. As to whether the respondents were worried about being infected with COVID-19, 34.9% said they were not worried, 45.5% were somewhat worried, 12.0% were quite worried, and 6.1% were very worried. Similarly, the results had not changed much from the previous month, as shown by the Chi-square test.
With regard to personal anti-infection measures, 91.7% of the respondents said that they often wore masks when they went out, a decrease of 2.8 percentage points from the May survey; 79.9% often washed their hands with liquid soap or hand sanitiser, a drop of 2.9 percentage points from the previous survey; and 50.6% often cleaned their homes with disinfectants, a decrease of 3.2 percentage points from the May survey. However, no statistically significant differences between the percentage distributions of the two surveys were found.
Regarding the control of epidemic, 53.2% of the respondents thought that the government’s measures in response to the epidemic were insufficient or very insufficient, and 40.7% said that it was sufficient or very sufficient. The results were not much changed from the survey of the previous month. The Chi-square test also showed that there were no statistically significant differences in the percentage distribution of the two surveys. Furthermore, 56.0% of the respondents thought that the government’s performance in controlling the epidemic was quite bad or very bad, and 34.1% thought it was quite good or very good. A comparison with the May survey revealed that not much difference was found. The results of the Chi-square test also showed the same conclusion.
The telephone survey was conducted in the evening from 22 to 29 June 2020, and a total of 707 people aged 18 or above were successfully interviewed, with a response rate of 35.0%. The sampling error is estimated at plus or minus 3.69 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.
 There is a saying in the public recently that there is a third wave outbreak of the epidemic. The results of this survey cannot reflect people’s opinion on this matter as it was conducted from 22 to 29 June.