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torek, 7 decembra, 2021

Around 10% of Slovenians Visiting Other Households Amid Epidemic

by P.T., STA

Some 10% of Slovenian residents visited two households in a week in November despite anti-coronavirus restrictions. Moreover, a certain share of Slovenians do not seem to have significantly changed their social habits when it comes to visiting other homes, a survey by pollster Valicon shows.

More than half of the respondents of the survey, conducted in the second week of November among 527 adults, said they were not visiting other households at all and over 25% made one social visit in the previous week.

Some 6% visited from three to four households, and 4% paid a visit to five or even more households.

Given that the average size of Slovenian households is 2.5 members, some 10% were thus in contact with more than an average 10 persons in a week.

The survey examined behavioural patterns amid the epidemic, however it did not look into the reasons for specific conduct.

Experts presume that those who visited one household called on their family members living in other households or went to see them to help.

What is alarming is that a group of those who reported about two or more visits a week, about 100 respondents, also included the highest number of people with Covid-19 symptoms. A total of 23% from this group mentioned two or more such symptoms.

This category also had the most responses, some 14%, revealing high-risk contacts in the previous two weeks.

The survey was part of a joint project run by national tracker Covid-19 Sledilnik, the Young Doctors association, and Valicon, which also yielded results regarding behavioural patterns at work some 10 days ago.

The project’s partners note that the share of those who have not significantly reduced the number of visits may not seem high, but 10% in the study translates to some 200,000 of the population. Moreover, a similar share merely restricted their social life to visits to two households.

Summing up findings of both surveys, the project indicates that some 36% neither go to work nor visit other households while their conduct has been proven to be the safest.

This group features pensioners, hence a larger share of those aged above 60, as well as the biggest share of those quite worried due to the epidemic (almost 25%) compared to other groups, and the biggest share of those concerned for their health (38%). Most are dealing with the situation quite well, only a tenth find it critical or even hopeless.

Some 17% go to work, but do not pay visits. Most of them are men aged between 30 and 59. The group features the smallest number of those concerned due to the epidemic, 13%, and a third of those who are anxious about their health. In this group, people are also mostly coping with the situation.

About 30% do not go to work but go on visits. Women aged between 18 and 29 are a prominent category in the group, as well as those on sick leave and those who have lost their job due to the epidemic.

The group has the largest share, 30%, of those who are not or only slightly worried about the virus, but also the biggest share, 20%, of those who regard the current circumstances as critical or hopeless.

The remaining group poses the highest risk for contracting or spreading the coronavirus, comprising those who both go to work and have a social life (17%).

Most of them visited at least one household and performed at least half of their workload in the workplace.

A fifth of the group are parents of pre-school children, a somewhat bigger share than in other groups, meaning the reason for some visits could be daycare. The group features prominently middle-aged men. The share of those who are worried due to the epidemic is the same as in the group of people going to work but not on visits.

Valicon also recently conducted another survey which looked into whom Slovenians trusted the most regarding Covid-19 developments and information.

The public still places the greatest trust in experts, with Aleš Rozman, director of the Golnik University Clinic of Respiratory and Allergic Diseases, and infectious diseases specialist Mateja Logar deemed most trust-worthy among them, both having gained 61 points of 100.

Mario Fafangel, the chair of the Centre for Communicable Diseases at the National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ), is meanwhile the most recognisable expert.

Health Minister Tomaž Gantar, NIJZ head Milan Krek and government Covid-19 spokesman Jelko Kacin remain in the below-zero category when it comes to trust levels.

Interior Minister Aleš Hojs enjoys least trust, -59, preceded by Prime Minister Janez Janša (-50) and Education Minister Simona Kustec (-41).

Some 12% do not trust anyone of the 19 listed public figures, down by 3 percentage points compared to the first assessment in spring.

The survey, titled #NewNormal, was conducted between 27 and 29 November among 539 adults.

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