March 25, 2020 / 6:08 AM / 14 days ago

Nearly three-quarters of people in G7 expect virus to make their households poorer - survey

LONDON (Reuters) - Seventy percent of people in Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States expect their household to lose income due to the coronavirus outbreak, according to a survey on Wednesday.

General view of empty streets in Brighton, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in Brighton, Britain, March 24, 2020. REUTERS/Peter Cziborra

The highly contagious coronavirus has caused entire regions to be placed on lockdown, halting services and production and breaking supply chains.

In Italy, which has borne the brunt of the outbreak in Europe, 82% of respondents to the Kantar survey said the coronavirus has or will impact their household income - the highest of the G7 countries - compared to 74% in the United States and 70% in Britain.

The country expecting the least financial impact was Germany.

In all G7 countries, most people surveyed said they were washing their hands for longer.

In Britain, just 28% of people said they had started working from home more often and only a little over half said they were avoiding visits to elderly and vulnerable relatives and friends where possible.

The online survey was conducted last week - before the British government announced it would enforce its advice to stay home.

Japan had highest number of people who said they had started wearing a mask (65%) but the lowest number of people doing all other measures listed in the survey, such as social distancing, washing hands more and avoiding unnecessary social contact.

In Germany, Canada and Britain, more than half the people thought that public services in their country were prepared to cope with the epidemic and its consequences.

The country with the least confidence was France, where only 33% thought the country could cope.

Italy, which has so far seen more than 6800 deaths, had the highest number of respondents saying they were “very concerned” about the health of their local community, the availability of local health services and care for the elderly and vulnerable.

But Italy also had the highest number of people who strongly approved of the way their government was responding to the pandemic, at 39%. Japan had the lowest number of people in this category (5%) followed by Britain (17%).

Reporting by Elizabeth Howcroft; editing by Stephen Addison

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