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Beware of Covid this festive season, only 6% Indians see ‘good’ social distancing around them

Survey released by LocalCircles based on 65,000 responses from 366 districts also shows only 13% people say there’s more than 90% compliance with masking protocols.

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New Delhi: Concerns that there could be a third Covid wave, or that cases could rise during the festive season up to Diwali, may be justified, as very few Indians find people around them complying with masking and social distancing norms.

A survey released Monday by LocalCircles, the online polling platform for governance issues of public interest, found that 6 per cent of respondents said people in their localities were following ‘good social distancing compliance’, while an overwhelming majority of the other 94 per cent found it ‘limited’ or non-existent. On the masking front too, only 13 per cent said the norms were being followed by ‘over 90 per cent’ of people around them.

LocalCircles founder Sachin Taparia said in the press note for the latest survey: “The drop in mask compliance ratings from 29 per cent to 13 per cent and in social distancing compliance ratings from 11 per cent to 6 per cent indicates that complacency has set in, with many now believing that Covid is gone.”

Also read: Can I catch Covid from the pool? Not from the water but watch out for changing rooms

Respondents from 366 districts of India

LocalCircles said its survey incorporated over 65,000 responses from citizens online, representing 366 districts of India. Forty-six per cent of respondents were from tier-1 cities, 29 per cent from tier-2, and 25 per cent from tier-3, 4, and rural districts. Sixty-four per cent of the respondents were male and 36 per cent were female.

One of the questions the survey asked was: ‘How are people in your area/district/city complying to social distancing norms?’ The question drew over 14,000 responses, and only 6 per cent of respondents said there is ‘good social distancing compliance’. Twenty-five per cent said there was “no social distancing compliance at all”, while a vast majority, 63 per cent, said there was ‘limited’ compliance.

On masks, the survey asked: ‘How are people in your city/district/area now complying to wearing mask norms?’

The question received nearly 15,600 responses, of which 13 per cent reported ‘more than 90 per cent’ compliance with the protocols, while 32 per cent of the respondents said, ‘0-30 per cent people are compliant’.

Another question, about mask protocols being followed on flights, trains, buses or at airports/railway stations/bus stands in August-September, returned 30 per cent responses of ‘over 90 per cent’ compliance, while 7 per cent saw ‘no compliance at all’.

On a positive note, the survey said 61 per cent of respondents had reported more than 90 per cent mask compliance at vaccination centres in August and September.

(Edited by Shreyas Sharma)

Also read: The three factors influencing India’s December deadline for Covid vaccination


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