MANILA — Most Filipinos are still following minimum safety standards set by government to curb COVID-19 transmission more than a year since the dreaded disease first spread, a survey released Thursday showed.
According to the Social Weather Stations, 75% of the survey respondents still wear face masks, 67% wash their hands regularly daily, 58% observe physical distancing, and 53% wear face shields in public.
"Compliance with these basic Covid-19 safety protocols hardly changed from September 2020, when 79% said they always use a face mask, 67% always wash their hands, 60% always keep “physical distance,” and 56% always use a face shield," the SWS said.
Balance Luzon has the highest percentage of face mask usage among adults with 80%, followed by Metro Manila (78%), the Visayas (72%), and Mindanao (64%).
"Compared to September 2020, those who always use a face mask rose in Balance Luzon (up by 4 points from 76%). They hardly changed in Metro Manila, barely moving from 77%. However, they declined in the Visayas (down by 14 points from 86%) and Mindanao (down by 14 points from 78%)," the SWS said.
The region also has the largest percentage of those who observe physical distancing with 66%, followed by Metro Manila (65%), the Visayas (52%), and Mindanao (42%).
Metro Manila has the highest percentage of adults always washing their hands with 76%, followed by Balance Luzon (71%), the Visayas (69%), and Mindanao (52%).
"Compared to September 2020, those who always wash their hands rose in Metro Manila (up by 13 points from 63%) and Balance Luzon (up by 7 points from 64%). However, it fell in Mindanao (down by 13 points from 69%) and the Visayas (down by 6 points from 75%)," the national pollster said.
The capital region also has the largest percentage of adults wearing a face shield in public with 66%, followed by Balance Luzon (62%), Mindanao (43%), and the Visayas (35%).
The SWS also revealed the percentage of those who always wear face masks is lower among those not worried about catching COVID-19 (56%) than among those worried a little (69%), somewhat worried (73%), and worried a great deal (77%).
"At the same time, those who always wash their hands are significantly lower among those not worried about catching Covid-19 (55%) than among those worried a little (65%), somewhat worried (62%), and worried a great deal (69%)," it said.
"Compliance with keeping 'physical distance' and using a face shield did not vary significantly by worry about catching Covid-19," the pollster added.
The survey, which used a stratified sample of 1,200 respondents nationwide with a +/- 3-percent margin of error, was conducted from April 28 to May 2, 2021.
An earlier SWS survey showed 89% of adult Filipinos are afraid to catch COVID-19, with more people recently saying "the worst is yet to come" compared to late-2020.
As of Thursday, the Philippines has logged a total of 1,293,687 confirmed coronavirus cases, with 56,921 active infections or 4.4 percent of the cumulative total.
The country's case fatality rate is at 1.72 percent with 22,312 total deaths, while it has tallied 1,214,454 recoveries.