The Centre for Public Policy Research undertook the COVID-19 Citizens’ Survey to explore the micro-level footprint of the pandemic and the lockdown during the transition period post lockdown. As the response to COVID-19 has been devised keeping the citizens’ needs and well-being at the forefront, it is critical to assess their stand on various issues, to inform better policy interventions. CPPR has attempted to collect and evaluate valuable information from Indian citizens across the country between 15th and 30th June, using the means of an online survey questionnaire. With this study we hope that our contribution to the policy discourse surrounding COVID-19 is constructive to all the stakeholders involved.

KEY FINDINGS

  1. Respondents 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.
  2. Six out of ten respondents perceive COVID-19’s threat as an illness to be very or highly severe.
  3. Nine out of ten respondents believe COVID-19’s threat to the economy to be very or highly severe.
  4. A quarter of the respondents believe that their likelihood of getting exposed to COVID-19 or contracting the disease is an unlikely prospect.
  5. Two-thirds of the respondents believe that the complete nationwide lockdown initiated on 24th March, 2020 was justified.
  6. Most respondents believe that the lockdown was effective in curbing the spread of COVID-19, and only a quarter of the respondents believe otherwise.
  7. On an average, the respondents are relatively more content with the response of their respective state governments to the pandemic compared to that of the central government.
  8. Respondents from the State of Kerala are the most content with their state government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, among all the major states in our sample.
  9. Respondents have exhibited high levels of confidence in Doctors, Police, Public Hospitals and NGOs in their ability to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, and have shown low levels of confidence in the government, private hospitals and the media.
  10. Respondents have displayed a high degree of compliance to preventive measures and high levels of awareness and knowledge of COVID-19, with an average rating of 4 or higher across all preventive behaviours.
  11. Across all self-assessed preventive behaviours, women consistently showed a greater degree of adherence in comparison to men.
  12. Most respondents use traditional or formal sources of information such as TV news stations, official website, government press releases, daily or weekly newspapers rather than relying on conversations with family/friends/colleagues, or social media for consuming news related to COVID-19.
  13. One in two respondents claim to have lower levels of overall productivity during the lockdown.
  14. The adverse effects of the lockdown on mental health related indicators were more prominent among women than among men , particularly in terms of being worried about their family’s health or going to public places.
  15. Respondents reported spending more time than before on all activities during the lockdown, except for exercises on which they are spending less time than before.
  16. More women than men were consistently spending more time on all activities during the lockdown, especially on unpaid household work and family time.
  17. One out of four employed respondents had faced salary cuts during the lockdown period.
  18. The situation before COVID-19 suggests that NMT modes like walking and cycling were preferred by respondents for shorter distances (below 10 kms). For larger distances these modes are mainly replaced by cars and app-based shared cabs (Uber and Ola).
  19. There is a consistent increase in the percentage of app-based shared cab users as the distance travelled increases. This is specific to pre COVID-19 scenario.
  20. Four out of ten respondents who are currently working from home stated that their probability of continuing work from home after the lockdown was high. In that case, the work trips of these respondents will surely decrease.
  21. Before COVID-19, six out of ten respondents were using private transport, whereas post lockdown nine out of ten respondents preferred private transport. This implies that the share of public transport users will decrease from four to one (out of ten) post lockdown.
  22. Six out of ten respondents are of the opinion that public transport is not safe to travel after lockdown.
  23. During the pandemic the perception of safety regarding public transport usage increases with age.
  24. Two out of ten respondents are planning to buy a new vehicle post lockdown. And 65% of the newly bought vehicles would be cars. Hence, there will be a 13% increase in the number of cars post lockdown.
  25. Public Transport shall face huge setbacks in terms of the number of users as many of them would opt for private modes of travel post lockdown.

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