Posted on April 14, 2020

The Department of Public Health in the College of Health Sciences (CHS) at Qatar University has been promoting the study in Qatar and because of these constant efforts, over 1400 people from Qatar participated in a global online survey last week. Qatar is the only country from the Arabian Gulf region to show sufficient responses appearing in the results.

An international team of researchers from world-renowned universities including Harvard, MIT, Princeton and the University of California in the USA, Oxford, Cambridge and the University of Warwick in the UK is conducting the study. The purpose of this research is to investigate beliefs and behaviors in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Dr. Lily O’Hara, Associate Professor of Public Health at Qatar University said, “These results are significant for Qatar because it is the first research study into people’s perceptions about the strong measures the government is taking to protect the health of people in Qatar.” “The study results show that Qatar is doing very well, but we can see areas for improvement,” said Dr. O’Hara. “People must continue to stay at home as much as possible, but if they do need to go out, they should keep a safe distance from other people.”

Dr. Hanan Abdul Rahim, the Dean of the College of Health Sciences said that the results were very good news for Qatar. However she encouraged more people to take the survey, saying, “It is important for us to keep collecting information from people in Qatar, especially as new precautionary measures are introduced.” The survey can be completed at https://covid19-survey.org/. The people of Qatar have the highest levels of trust in the country’s government for taking care of its people in the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the results of a global survey released this week.

Qatar leads the world rankings with less than 5% of people stating that they distrusted the government to take care of the people, compared to the global average of over 35%. The International Survey on coronavirus disease found that Qatar is in the top five countries of the world with respect to perceptions of truthfulness, with less than 5% believing that the government has been untruthful about the outbreak. When asked if they believe the government is doing enough, over 20% of respondents believe the government's response has been insufficient. However almost 50% believe the public's response has been insufficient, despite the majority of people reporting that they have practiced social distancing in the past week.

More than 90% of people said they did not attend social gatherings, almost 90% reported staying at home in the previous week, and less than 80% said they kept a distance of at least 2 meters from other people. The vast majority of people (more than 90%) said they are washing their hands more frequently and almost 95% of people said they would inform someone if they felt sick.

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