93% believe worst of COVID-19 over – survey

Janvic Mateo - The Philippine Star
93% believe worst of COVID-19 over � survey
Scenes in the streets of Marikina City during the rush hour on February 9, 2023.
STAR / Walter Bollozos

MANILA, Philippines — A large majority of Filipinos believe that the worst of COVID-19 is over, according to the fourth quarter survey conducted by Social Weather Stations (SWS).

Results of the Dec. 10 to 14 survey showed that 93 percent of respondents think that the worst of the pandemic is already “behind us,” slightly up from the 91 percent obtained in the second and third quarter surveys.

It went up from as low as 38 percent in September 2021, when the country reported record-high new cases due to the highly transmissible Omicron variant.

Meanwhile, only six percent of the respondents in the December 2022 survey said that the worst of COVID-19 “is yet to come.”

It was down from eight percent in June and nine percent in October, and from as high as 60 percent in September 2021.

Based on SWS data, belief that the worst of COVID-19 is “behind us” reached its lowest in July 2020 at 35 percent. It went up to 47 percent in September 2020 and 69 percent in November 2020, before dropping to 50 percent in May 2021.

It was at 59 percent in June 2021, 38 percent in September 2021, 80 percent in December 2021 and 83 percent in April 2022.

Meanwhile, the percentage of those who thought that the worst is “yet to come” was at 57 percent in July 2020, 47 percent in September 2020 and 31 percent in November 2020.

It was at 49 percent in May 2021, 39 percent in June 2021, 60 percent in September 2021, 19 percent in December 2021 and 16 percent in April 2022.

Voluntary masking

The latest SWS survey also asked respondents on their thoughts regarding the government’s decision to lift the mandatory masking policy in both indoor and outdoor spaces.

Some 64 percent of the respondents said they “strongly approve” of voluntary masking, while 27 percent “somewhat approve.”

Only three percent said they “somewhat disapprove,” while one percent “strong disapproved” of the policy. The remaining four percent were undecided.

On the voluntary masking of students inside schools, 65 percent said they “strongly agree,” while 26 percent said they “somewhat agree.”

Two percent said they “strongly disagree,” while six percent said they “somewhat disagree.”

In terms of vaccination, the December 2022 survey showed that 87 percent of the respondents received at least one dose of COVID-19 jabs.

Some 57 percent (estimated 41.4 million) said they received two doses, while six percent (estimated 4.4 million) said they only received the first dose.

Another 17 percent (estimated 12.4 million) said they already received one booster dose, while six percent (estimated 4.3 million) said they already received second booster doses.

The latest survey on vaccination hardly moved from the October 2022 poll, which showed that 85 percent or an estimated 61.4 million Filipinos already received COVID-19 vaccines.

The breakdown at the time were: three percent receiving just one dose; 58 percent, two doses; 18 percent, one booster shot and five percent, two booster shots.

The data on COVID-19 and vaccination were among those presented by SWS vice president Jay Sandoval during the 2023 SWS Survey Review at the Asian Institute of Management in Makati City last Tuesday.

The December 2022 survey had 1,200 respondents and a margin of error of +/- 2.8 percent.

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