Press release №2257
19.03.2020
CORONAVIRUS: RUSSIAN OPINION

IN BRIEF

  • 99% of Russians are aware of the coronavirus
  • the share of those who are highly informed has increased by 14 p.p. since early February (82%)
  • As in the previous month, only one in ten respondents think that the likelihood of being infected is rather high (10%)
  • Measures taken by authorities are sufficient to prevent the coronavirus spread (56%)
  • 61% of Russians are confident that the Russian health and epidemiological services will be able to protect the population
  • 54% of Russians consider that epidemic is hardly possible.

Russian awareness of the coronavirus keeps rising. The threat is assessed as low. Russians are calm and consider the government’s measures to be rather effective.

MOSCOW, March 19, 2020. Russian Public Opinion research Centre (VCIOM) presents the findings of   a monitoring survey devoted to the coronavirus outbreak, its threat and ways to fight it.

An absolute majority of Russians are well informed about the coronavirus outbreak originated in China early this year (82%); this share has increased by 14 p.p. since February 8th. Generally speaking, almost all the Russians, to a certain extent, have heard of the virus (99%).

More than half of Russians (61%) have a certain degree of confidence that Russian health and epidemiological services will be capable of protecting the population against this threat; however one-third of respondents show skepticism (32%). The share of those who consider that the chance of being infected is high has not changed much (10% vs 8% in early February).  

The authorities are taking enough measures to prevent the coronavirus spread in Russia, according to every second Russian (56%). This opinion is popular among older generations aged 45-59 (56%) and those aged 60 and older (63%).

The percentage of those who are confident that the coronavirus is more dangerous than the seasonal influenza has increased by only 1 p.p. (60%). As in early February, one-quarter of Russians believe that the coronavirus is as dangerous as the seasonal influenza (26%).

Seventy percent of Russians are afraid of being infected or that their relatives can get infected (a 18-point increased compared to early February). As in the previous month, more than half of Russians consider that people can protect themselves against the coronavirus disease (64%).

Despite the fact that 65% of Russians expect a rise in the number of coronavirus cases in Russia in the weeks that follow (mainly young Russians aged 18-24 (76%)), only 30% of respondents think that the situation will not lead to an epidemic. More than half of Russians consider that an epidemic of the coronavirus is hardly possible in Russia (54%). Five percent of Russians think that the epidemic has already started.

For more information on the coronavirus visit стопкоронавирус.рф.

Russian VCIOM-Sputnik survey was conducted on March 13 and 15, 2020. Results are based on telephone interviews with 1,600 Russians aged 18 and older. A stratified dual-frame random sample based on a complete list of Russian landline and mobile phone numbers is used. The data were weighted according to selection probability and social and demographic characteristics. The margin of error at a 95% confidence level does not exceed 2.5%. In addition to sampling error, minor changes in question wording and different circumstances arising during the fieldwork can introduce bias into the survey

Do you know/ did you hear/do you hear for the first time that there was an outbreak of a disease called the coronavirus disease early this year in China?  (closed-ended question, one answer, % of total respondents)
  8.II 13.III
I am well aware 68 82
I heard something, but I do not know any details 31 17
This is the first time I hear about it 1 1

In your opinion, is the coronavirus more dangerous or less dangerous than the usual seasonal influenza? (closed-ended question, one answer, % of total respondents)
  8.II 13.III
Coronavirus is more dangerous than seasonal influenza 59 60
Coronavirus is neither more dangerous  nor less dangerous that seasonal influenza 26 26
Coronavirus is less dangerous than seasonal influenza 5 7
Don‘t know 10 7

How would you assess the chances of being infected with the coronavirus: high likelihood or low likelihood, you are undecided or fail to answer? (closed-ended question, one answer, % of total respondents)
  8.II 13.III
High likelihood 8 10
Low likelihood 42 34
Failure to assess / Don‘t know / the answer was not answered 50 56

Based on what you know or have heard of, do you think it is possible to protect yourself against the coronavirus? (closed-ended question, one answer, % of total respondents)
  8.II 13.III
It is possible 64 64
It is not possible 24 24
Don‘t know 12 12

In your opinion, in case of a real threat will the Russian authorities be capable of protecting the population against the spread of coronavirus in Russia? (closed-ended question, one answer, % of total respondents)
  8.II 13.III
Definitely yes 17 17
Rather yes 50 44
Rather not 20 22
Definitely not 8 10
Don‘t know 5 7

 

There are coronavirus cases not only in China but in other countries too. Are you afraid that you or your relatives can be infected with the coronavirus? (closed-ended question, one answer, % of total respondents)
  8.II 13.III
Extremely afraid 12 18
Somewhat afraid 40 52
I am confident that nothing will happen either to me or to my family 28 16
I have not thought about it 18 13
Don‘t know 2 1

In your opinion, are the measures taken by the Russian authorities to prevent the spread of coronavirus in Russia sufficient or insufficient?  (closed-ended question, one answer, % of total respondents)
  Total respondents Aged 18-24 25-34 35-44 45-59 60 and older
Sufficient 56 52 49 53 56 63
Insufficient 29 42 27 35 30 23
Excessive measures 2 2 4 3 2 1
Don‘t know; I know nothing about the measures 13 4 20 9 12 13

In your opinion,  will  the number of the coronavirus cases in Russia be rising during the next week or two/ be reducing, or stay at the same level? (closed-ended question, one answer, % of total respondents)
  Total respondents Aged 18-24 25-34 35-44 45-59 60 and older
It will dramatically increase 22 39 21 27 16 17
It will slightly increase 43 37 45 44 50 42
It will stay at the same level 9 9 11 9 9 9
It will be  slightly lower 7 4 5 4 8 6
It will dramatically decrease 7 3 3 5 6 9
Don’t know 12 8 15 11 11 17

How would you assess the likelihood of a coronavirus epidemic in Russia?  (closed-ended question, one answer, % of total respondents)
  8.II 13.III
I am confident it will not happen 15 11
Likely not  to happen 59 43
Likely to happen 15 26
I am confident that it will happen 2 4
The epidemic has already started 1 5
Don’t know 8 11

Note: Using materials from the site www.wciom.ru or wciom.com, as well as distributed by VCIOM, the reference to the source (or hyperlink for the electronic media) is obligatory.
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