30% of Canadians are worried they could contract the coronavirus: poll

Feb 5 2020, 8:22 am

As the number of affected people continues to rise, Canadians are remaining relatively calm when it comes to the coronavirus.

According to a new study from the Angus Reid Institute, 30% of Canadians say they are worried that they could contract the virus.

As researchers across the globe race to create a vaccine, 40% of Canadians are concerned about the impact the outbreak may have within their community, and 76% are concerned about the virus’ global impact.

More than 24,000 cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed around the world, nearly 500 of which have been fatal. The first cases of the virus led China to alert the World Health Organization in late December, who identified the virus as ‘novel,’ meaning it had been previously unseen.

The Canadians surveyed said they are taking some form of extra care when it comes to the virus, 41% of whom admitted to washing their hands more often and/or using sanitizer.

The data also says that 12% of Canadians said they are avoiding public places more than they normally would, with only 4% saying the virus has lowered their use of public transit.

Angus Reid

More than a quarter of Canadians (33%) say they are not confident in their province’s own front-line health services to handle a coronavirus outbreak if the problem does worsen throughout the country.

Seven-in-10 Canadians say that they feel the threat of the coronavirus is “largely overblown” whereas three-in-10 agree that the threat should be taken seriously, according to the poll.

Aside from contracting the virus themselves, over three quarters (76%) of Canadians are concerned about the virus’ reach from “people all over the world.” Cases have been confirmed in 28 countries, with the vast majority occurring in Mainland China.

Angus Reid

Canadians are almost unanimously aware of the outbreak, states the report, with just 1% of Canadians having not heard about the virus at all.

As of this writing, Canada has four confirmed cases of the coronavirus; three in Ontario and one in British Columbia.