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Canadians confident, calm with coronavirus situation: poll

Last Updated Feb 4, 2020 at 10:40 am EST

Minister of Health Patty Hajdu looks on as Foreign Affairs Minister Franois-Philippe Champagne esponds to a question as they speak with the media about the coronavirus, on Jan. 29, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Summary

69 per cent indicated they think their leaders have handled the outbreak in a "prudent and measured way"


71 per cent said they are not worried about catching the virus


18 per cent said they would switch seats on a bus if a person of Chinese origin with no symptoms sat next to them


Confident and calm — these are the two major takeaways from a new poll about how Canadians feel about the coronavirus outbreak.

The ARTDART & Maru/Blue Voice Canada poll released Tuesday showed that 69 per cent of Canadians “believe that their Canadian officials and leaders have dealt with the coronavirus matter” in a “prudent and measured way.” Around 27 per cent said officials have not reacted enough to the situation.

Canadians are also generally taking the outbreak in stride, with 65 per cent indicating that they have not changed their habits since the outbreak began.

When asked “how well they think various leaders are doing so far when it comes to protecting the public in Canada from the coronavirus outbreak,” the World Health Organization came up on top with 79 per cent. Local health officials, and Patty Hajdu, the federal minister of health, were both tied at 74 per cent.

Seventy-one per cent felt their provincial minister of health was doing a good job, followed by the Government of China at 67 per cent and local political leadership at 50 per cent.

The poll also indicated that a majority of Canadians are not concerned about catching the virus, at 71 per cent. Around 29 per cent said they are worried about catching the virus.

Some Canadians indicated they would switch seats on a bus

The polling firm also asked Canadians if they would “deliberately move to another part of a bus if a person of apparent Chinese origin with no cold symptoms sat down beside them.”  About 18 per cent said they would.

Here are some other highlights of the poll:

  • At 97 per cent, almost all Canadians, have heard of the outbreak of the coronavirus in China.

 

  • Fifty-five per cent of Canadians don’t think people who wear masks are “overreacting,” while 45 per cent said mask-wearers are.

 

The survey was conducted among 1,513 randomly selected Canadian adults between Jan. 31 and Feb. 2, 2020. The survey is considered accurate to within plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.