Eight out of 10 people in Karachi know someone who has lost their job or business during lockdown, says study

A study conducted in Karachi shows that eight out of 10 people know someone who has lost their job or business during the preventive lockdown against COVID-19, while three out of 10 are now in need of financial assistance to run their daily lives.

Pulse Consultant, a leading marketing and social research firm, conducted an in-depth study through the computer-assisted telephone interviewing technique with 1,000 respondents residing in all the six districts of the city.

The study was conducted in two phases — April 16 to April 18 (477 interviews) and April 23 to April 26 (533 interviews) — during which people of both genders between the ages of 16 and 60 plus years were interviewed.

The results of the study were re-weighted on the district population. Moreover, the margin of error is only ±3.02 per cent at 95 per cent confidence level. The survey suggested that the residents of Karachi, the largest city of Pakistan, have been economically hit hard by the lockdown that has been imposed to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus.

COVID-19 perceptions

More than half, or 53 per cent, of the respondents believe that corona is either a new or an old type of virus, while 37 per cent of the interviewees believe that this is the name of a disease, according to the study’s results.

Out of the remaining respondents, six per cent are of the belief that this is just cough and flu, while two per cent of the interviewees have the opinion that this is Allah Ka Azab (the wrath of God).

The study also shows that five out of 10 people, or 51 per cent, believe that COVID-19 cases are being reported with exaggeration, while 30 per cent of the respondents believe the virus to be as dangerous as described. The remaining 19 per cent of their interviewees have expressed no opinion.

The respondents have expressed concerns about themselves at personal level (52 per cent) and they also believe that people in their respective circles, as those living in their neighbourhood, show concerns about COVID-19 and take the threat seriously (50 per cent). However, the concern intensity is lower for their family members (28 per cent).

Most of the female interviewees, or 58 per cent, are more worried about themselves than their male counterparts (48 per cent), reveals the study. Only six per cent of the respondents are aware of anyone afflicted with the novel coronavirus.

Economic impacts

Almost half, or 47 per cent, of the respondents are looking for a relaxed lockdown and 37 per cent are in favour of a strict lockdown, while 15 per cent are against any kind of lockdown, according to the study’s results.

Only five per cent of the interviewees feel no threat to their personal economic conditions. However, the remaining 95 per cent anticipate some sort of negative impact to their respective financial situations.

The study also shows that eight out of 10 respondents claimed knowing someone who lost their job or personal business. Around one-third, or 34 per cent, of the interviewees report feeling the need of some sort of financial assistance in this difficult time. Only one out of 10 claim they will have satisfactory economic conditions in the next three months. Seventy per cent of the respondents are anticipating economic pressures, while 20 per cent have no answer about their financial situation.

Govt performances

The study shows that 34 per cent of the interviewees are satisfied with the performance of the federal government in terms of containing the spread of COVID-19, while 28 per cent have expressed dissatisfaction. Thirty-five per cent did not give a clear answer.

Thirty-two per cent of the respondents are satisfied with the Sindh government’s performance, while 30 per cent are dissatisfied, with 34 per cent did not give a clear answer.

The study shows that 27 per cent of the people are satisfied with the performance of the city government regarding the coronavirus and 34 per cent have expressed dissatisfaction, while 36 per cent did not give a clear answer.

Parties’ relief works

Almost half of the interviewees were unable to name any of the political parties engaged in relief activities. However, most of the respondents, or 24 per cent, recalled the name of the Jamaat-e-Islami

Twenty-three per cent were able to name the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, 17 per cent the Pakistan Peoples Party, three per cent the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and two per cent the Muttahida Qaumi Movement.

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