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Majority of Karachiites know someone who has lost their job during lockdown, contends study

A study conducted in Karachi shows that 8 out of 10 people know someone who has lost their job or business during the preventive lockdown against COVID-19, while 3 out of 10 are now in need of financial assistance to run their daily lives, The News reported on Thursday.

Pulse Consultant, a leading marketing and social research firm, conducted an in-depth study through the computer-assisted telephone interviewing technique with 1,000 respondents residing in all the six districts of the city.

The study was conducted in two phases — April 16 to April 18 (477 interviews) and April 23 to April 26 (533 interviews) — during which people of both genders between the ages of 16 and 60 plus years were interviewed.

The results of the study were re-weighted on the district population. Moreover, the margin of error was only ±3.02% at 95% confidence level. The survey suggested that the residents of Karachi have been hit hard by the lockdown imposed to limit the spread of the virus.

COVID-19 perceptions

More than half, or 53%, of the respondents believe that coronavirus is either a new or an old type of virus, while 37% of the interviewees believe that this is the name of a disease, according to the study’s results.

Out of the remaining respondents, 6% are of the belief that this is just a common cough and flu, while 2% of the interviewees have the opinion that this is the wrath of the Almighty.

The study also shows that 5 out of 10 people, or 51%, believe that COVID-19 cases are being reported with exaggeration, while 30% of the respondents believe the virus to be as dangerous as described. The remaining 19% of their interviewees have expressed no opinion.

The respondents have expressed concerns about themselves at a personal level (52%) and they also believe that people in their respective circles, as those living in their neighbourhood, show concerns about COVID-19 and take the threat seriously (%).

However, the concern intensity is lower for their family members (28%). Most of the female interviewees, or 58%, are more worried about themselves than their male counterparts (48%), reveals the study.

Only 65 of the respondents are aware of anyone afflicted with the novel coronavirus, the study highlights.

Economic impact

Almost half, or 47%, of the respondents are looking for a relaxed lockdown and 37% are in favour of a strict lockdown, while 15% are against any kind of lockdown, according to the study’s results.

Only 5% of the interviewees feel no threat to their personal economic conditions. However, the remaining 95% anticipate some sort of negative impact to their respective financial situations.

The study also shows that 8 out of 10 respondents claimed knowing someone who lost their job or personal business. Around one-third, or 34%, of the interviewees report feeling the need of some sort of financial assistance in this difficult time.

Only 1 out of 10 claim they will have satisfactory economic conditions in the next three months. 70% of the respondents are anticipating economic pressures, while 205 have no answer about their financial situation.

Government performances

The study shows that 34% of the interviewees are satisfied with the performance of the federal government in terms of containing the spread of COVID-19, while 28% have expressed dissatisfaction. 35% did not give a clear answer.

32% of the respondents are satisfied with the Sindh government’s performance, while 30% are dissatisfied, with 34% did not give a clear answer.

The study shows that 27% of the people are satisfied with the performance of the city government regarding the coronavirus and 34% have expressed dissatisfaction, while 36% did not give a clear answer.

Relief works

Almost half of the interviewees were unable to name any of the political parties engaged in relief activities. However, many of the respondents, or 24%, recalled the name of the Jamaat-e-Islami

23% were able to name the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, 17% the Pakistan Peoples Party, 3% the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and 2% the Muttahida Qaumi Movement.

Originally published in The News

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