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More people protect themselves from coronavirus

08/2020, 03.04.2020

Second edition of the "BfR-Corona-Monitor" shows that the danger is still present in the public's mind

The coronavirus is causing increasing concern among the population in Germany. This is the result of the "Corona-Monitor", a weekly survey by the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR). According to the survey, the number of participants who do not protect themselves fell by ten percentage points compared to the previous week. "78 percent of the survey participants take special care not to get infected with the virus," says BfR President Professor Dr. Dr. Andreas Hensel. "This shows that the risk posed by coronavirus is seen very clearly."

Avoiding the public was still the most frequent protective measure spontaneously mentioned by the participants. However, wearing protective clothing including masks or gloves was more important than in the previous week. While last week only about six percent of those surveyed named protective clothing as a measure against infection, this week the number increased to 16 percent. The use of disinfectants was also mentioned more frequently by the participants in the survey. In addition, the percentage of people who are not sure that they can protect themselves against an infection with the novel corona virus decreased by ten percentage points to 29 percent compared to the previous week.

In contrast, fewer people are inclined to support the measures for containing the virus. While the cancellation of events, travel restrictions and quarantine measures continued to be considered appropriate by more than 90 percent of participants, acceptance of the curfew and contact prohibition declined. The contact prohibition was considered appropriate by 88 percent of participants, while acceptance of the curfew decreased to 67 percent.

Proximity to other people (79 percent) and door handles (63 percent) are still seen by most of the interviewees as likely transmission routes of a corona infection. However, food also seems to gain more attention as a transmission pathway: While only twelve percent of those questioned last week saw a high risk of transmission via food, this week the figure was 18 percent. According to the current state of knowledge, however, such a path of infection is unlikely and can be avoided through hygiene (see link below).

The appraisal of the impact of a corona infection on health and the "perceived" informedness of the respondents remained largely unchanged compared to the previous week. It is noticeable, however, that the survey participants inform themselves more via the media, while social contacts - presumably also due to the restrictions on social contact - have become less important.

The BfR is continually updating its FAQs on the topic of coronavirus, in light of the dynamically changing situation.

About the BfR-Corona-Monitor

The BfR-Corona-Monitor is a recurring (multi-wave) representative survey of the German population's perception of risks from the novel coronavirus. Since 24 March 2020, around 500 randomly selected people have been asked by telephone every Tuesday about their perception of the risk of infection and the protective measures they have taken, amongst other things. A summary of the data is regularly published on the homepage of the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment. More information about the method and sample can be found in publications about the BfR-Corona-Monitor.

About the BfR

The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) is a scientifically independent institution within the portfolio of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) in Germany. It advises the German federal government and German federal states ("Laender") on questions of food, chemical and product safety. The BfR conducts its own research on topics that are closely linked to its assessment tasks.

This text version is a translation of the original German text which is the only legally binding version.



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