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How do people around the world feel about their government's responses to COVID-19?

How do people around the world feel about their government's responses to COVID-19?

The Coronavirus pandemic has been present in at least some form in almost all countries around the world, however, how each country has dealt with the pandemic has varied quite significantly.

We spoke to people from four different countries around the world to get their views on how well they think their governments have responded to the virus.

 

New Zealand

New Zealand has been applauded by many for its Coroanvirus approach. Just 21 people have died from the virus in the country, while at least 1,147 have tested positive for it so far.

Sara Khatau, a youth press gallery member at New Zealand Parliament said;

“I believe that New Zealand has responded well to the Coronavirus and our strategy is emerging as a model for other countries. Our success can largely be accredited to effective communication and the fostering of collective unity. The daily televised news conferences have become embedded in people’s routines and the government have maximised this opportunity by communicating in a straightforward yet factual manner. From the get-go, New Zealanders were informed about how serious the threat of Coronavirus is, the required course of action and how the government would be supporting citizens through this. Prime Minister Arden has repeatedly refereed to self-isolating as an act of ‘kindness’ and this, in turn, has motivated New Zealand’s ‘team of 5 million’ to stick with the rules, even in one of the worlds strictest lockdown. The government’s decision to act swiftly and decisively was supported by the public, including the opposition. We responded through the implementation of a clearly marked phased alert level system, from Alert level 1 to Alert level 4. As we descend down to Alert level 2 later this week a greater sense of normalcy returns to our lives. I believe to ensure our continued success, it will be essential that citizens continue abiding by regulations and that the opposition maintains accountability for the government.”

 

 

Indonesia

1,028 deaths from COVID-19 have been confirmed in Indonesia so far. Over 15,000 are confirmed to have contracted the virus. In recent days, the number of people testing positive for the virus has risen, today's data standing at a high of 689 for one day. The highest number of cases in the country are in its capital, Jakarta, which has recorded over 5,550 cases and more than 140 deaths.

Raynard Rabiul Tsani, a student said;

"I'm not angry or sad about how my government has dealt with the outbreak. I'm just disappointed. Despite most of our neighbouring countries having reported cases of the disease, the government did not take the necessary preventive response soon enough. Out of place public statements that cite "the power of prayer" from the Health Minister when people seek for a scientific explanation is not only concerning, but also rather shameful. But the most disappointing thing that the government has done in my view is withholding information about the outbreak for some time. Information that matters to public safety and could have saved many lives. I hope they learn from their mistakes not only in dealing with public health emergencies but also in committing to being transparent to the people."

 

Greece

Greece has had 2,744 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 153 deaths. The virus pandemic hit the country almost simultaneously with the UK outbreak, but the epidemic has been 'shrinking' in Greece since the end of March, according to scientists in the country. Children in the country moved to virtual learning from 10 March and all non-essential movement has been banned in the country since March 23.

Marsia Staikidi, a resident in Athens said;

"It has been very surprising and unexpected to see how greatly Greece has dealt with the outbreak of Covid-19. As a Mediterranean country, Greece was expected to follow the paths of Italy and Spain, reaching uncontrollable levels of cases and deaths. However, the Greek government imposed strict measures and complete lockdown almost instantly after the first case came in from Italy. Having lived in Greece my entire life, I have come to understand that Greek people are extremely outgoing, social, and people-oriented, so it would be thought nearly impossible for all of us to stay at home for such a long period of time. This is what was most surprising, in fact, all Greeks came together in the joint effort to limit the virus, staying in and following safety procedures. This is what I am really proud of. I know all Greeks struggled to keep these measures, possibly more than other countries, but this way the situation is controlled. I feel like the Greek government handled the situation really well, however, it has greatly added to the already faced economic crisis, resulting in many people losing their jobs and incomes, making it even harder for Greece to recover from the long on-going economic recession.

 

United States

The United States has been the worst-hit country in the world by the Coronavirus in terms of total reported deaths. Over 83,000 people have died from COVID-19 in the US, and over 1.41 million have tested positive for the virus. The response to the Coronavirus from the Trump administration has gained international attention in recent weeks and months. President Donald Trump has attacked the media for their coverage of the pandemic in the country and has seemingly suggested some medical 'cures', such as injecting bleach into the body.

Sam Haut, a journalist in New York said;

"I think the response to COVID-19 in the U.S. has been a mixed bag. While the U.S. currently leads the world in terms of the number of people tested, currently at around 8 million, the U.S. is also leading the world when it comes to confirmed cases and the number of deaths. This is due to a number of factors, chief among them being the slow response by the Trump administration to address the issue. Though Trump acted at the end of January to close down travel from China, he followed that up by doing little to prepare the country for the virus throughout the month of February, as he was holding rallies and decrying the virus as not a big deal and fully under control by his administration, and as March and April came and went, Trump continued to assure everyone that his administration was handling the virus better than every other country, despite the rising death count."

 

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