People perceive the threat to the economy caused due to the Covid-19 pandemic to be more serious in nature compared to its impact as a health crisis, according to a survey by a think-tank Centre for Public Policy Research.

According to the survey conducted in the second half of June, 92% of the respondents believe that the severity of the economic threat is ‘severe’ or ‘highly severe’ compared to 64% of the respondents who believe the severity of the pandemic induced health crisis is ‘severe’ or ‘highly severe’.

While respondents almost unanimously regard the crisis as a ‘severe’ or ‘highly severe’ threat to the economy, the survey showed that the sentiment is “strongest” among the lowest income groups, as they were most hit by the pandemic.

The analysis showed that with increase in income, a lesser percentage of respondents report a high severity rating of threat due to Covid-19 on the economy.

According to the survey by the Kochi-based think-tank, 98% of the respondents from lower income category with a household income below Rs 25,000 felt that the pandemic’s threat to the economy was very serious while it was 87% among those with an income of over Rs 3 lakh.

While one out of four employed respondents experienced a salary cut, only 15% of them were from the lowest income group below Rs 25,000 while the rest of the income groups comprise a greater percentage of respondents reporting salary cuts.

Asked about the imposition of the lockdown, the survey said 74% of the respondents were of the view that the restrictions were effective in curbing the spread of the pandemic.

“On average, the respondents are relatively more content with their respective State Governments’ response to the pandemic compared to the Centre’s. Respondents from the State of Kerala are the most content with their Government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic, among all the major states,” it said.

Almost half of the respondents were highly content with the response of their state governments while only 18% were highly content with the Centre’s response to the pandemic.

Half of the respondents claimed to have lower levels of overall productivity during the lockdown. Exercise and physical activity seems to have taken a backseat as respondents report spending less time than before on exercise.

The gender-centric analysis on mental health implications of the lockdown and physical distancing on men and women showed that the fairer sex faired worse than men.

According to the analysis, 36% of women respondents said they were stressed or anxious because of the current situation compared to only 27% of the men respondents, 29% of women felt hopeless about the future compared to only 18% of men and 21% of women felt lonely compared to 21% of men.

When it comes to adjusting to self isolation or lockdown, a greater percentage of male respondents (19%)compared to a 16% of female respondents had trouble adjusting to self it.

This news report is on the COVID-19 Impact Survey conducted by CPPR published in the Deccan Herald on September 3, 2020. Click here to read

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