Who has responded best to COVID-19?

Nov 11, 2020, 09:30 am

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AsiaToday reporter Lee Jang-won 

In celebration of AsiaToday’s 15th anniversary, it has selected “From the COVID-19 new normal and K-quarantine to the K-economy” as its agenda to overcome coronavirus crisis that is hitting the world so hard. The world is experiencing unprecedented challenges from the pandemic. Among other countries, South Korea’s response to COVID-19 stands out as it dramatically slowed the spread of the virus with its “K-quarantine” model.

Based on its “K-quarantine” model, South Korea is now taking steps to become a leading economic nation that unprecedentedly catches two rabbits – quarantine and economy. In celebration of its 15th anniversary of inauguration, AsiaToday aims to present an alternative that allows the nation to lead a new economic paradigm based on the K-economy in the post-COVID-19 era. To this end, we have conducted a public opinion survey.

Five out of 10 South Koreans are facing ‘Corona Blue’ (depression and lethargy due to self-isolation and social distancing), according to the survey conducted by AsiaToday and commissioned by R&Search for three days from Oct. 31 to Nov. 2. In addition, 32.4 percent of respondents felt anxious and unclear fear while some others felt fears of economical distress (27.9%), restrictions on daily activities (18.8%) and infections of COVID-19 (12.7%).

“Amid prolonged pandemic, people’s depression, lethargy, and anger are reaching a dangerous level,” said Kim Mi-hyun, director general of R&Search. “In order to avoid the ‘corona blue’ phenomenon from changing into ‘corona red’ one, ‘psychological’ quarantine measures seem urgent.”

However, six out of ten people (63.9%) positively evaluated the nation’s ‘K-quarantine’ system. As seen in South Korea’s April general election and the US presidential election in November, response to COVID-19 has become an important political factor for people. Responding to COVID-19 will also play an important political factor in next year’s Seoul and Busan mayoral by-elections and upcoming presidential election in 2022.

In the survey, respondents chose President Moon Jae-in (30.1%) as the one who responded the pandemic the best among other political figures. Gyeonggi Province Governor Lee Jae-myung (12.7%), Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun (4.1%) and Democratic Party (DP) leader Lee Nak-yon (2.7%) followed. What’s interesting is that Prime Minister Chung, who is classified as a potential influential runner who has not officially declared to run for the election race, took the second spot with 8.9% among respondents above 60 years of age following President Moon Jae-in (24%). Even in Daegu and Gyeongbuk, traditionally conservative strongholds, the prime minister ranked third with 7.6% following the president (12.7%) and Gyeonggi governor (10.2%). “The result shows that the prime minister and the president are working in perfect harmony,” Kim said. 

Most respondents chose Gyeonggi governor Lee Jae-myung (23.8%) as a politician who would respond well to crisis, such as the pandemic. People’s Party head Ahn Cheol-soo ranked the second with 11.5%, and conservative politician Hong Joon-pyo (6.2%), prime minister Chung Sye-kyun (3.4%), Jeju Province Governor Won Hee-ryong (2.7%), former Liberty Korea Party chief Hwang Kyo-ahn (2.4%) and former Seoul mayor Oh Se-hoon (2.3%) followed.

The survey had a margin of error of 3.0 percentage points and a 95 percent confidence level.

#covid-19 #survey #Moon Jae-in #Chung Sye-kyun #Lee Nak-yon 
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