People in their worst dilemma on reopening of economic activity amid outbreak: Ipsos Survey

The multinational market research firm Ipsos globally released the findings of their 14 country COVID-19 survey today. The poll consisted of more than 28,000 people from across 14 countries and was conducted from April 16 to 19 on the Global Advisor online platform. According to the survey, people in these major countries are divided on whether the economy and businesses should be allowed to open if the coronavirus pandemic is still not fully contained.

The majority of respondents from eight out of 14 countries are against the opening of the economy if the virus is not completely under control. This response was largely seen in developed economies like the United Kingdom and Canada (70 per cent), which was further followed by Mexico (65 per cent), Spain and Australia (61 per cent), and the United States (59 per cent).

Also at the same time, a large set of respondents had agreed to the idea that economies should reopen in some hard-hit countries which include Russia (60 per cent), China (58 per cent), Italy (53 per cent), India (51 per cent) and Germany (50 per cent). India was found to be the country where the respondents were most uncertain about whether businesses should open without the virus being under control. The responses from India showed a mere eight percentage points between those who agree and disagree.

As per this latest wave of the Ipsos global COVID-19 survey, Indians are now facing their worst paradox. It is a state where over half of them (51 per cent) are favoring the opening of the economy and businesses, irrespective of whether the coronavirus has been fully contained. The paradoxical element here is that a majority (78 per cent) of urban Indians, which is also the highest percentage globally, are nervous about leaving their homes for work and travel.

This survey also reveals that a majority of people in 12 out of 14 countries say that they are going to be nervous about leaving their homes even if businesses are allowed to reopen and travel resumes. While a majority of people disagreed with this in Germany, respondents from Russia, France, and Australia were found to be more optimistic about leaving home.

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