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WHO: Czechs don’t trust the government enough to stop COVID-19

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According to the Czech branch of the WHO, the reason that the COVID-19 restrictions are lasting so long is that Czech’s don’t trust their government enough, reports.

The WHO’s survey, which was publicized on Wednesday, indicates that 76% of Czechs don’t trust the government, and 66% don’t believe the Ministry of Health. 45% of Czechs think the pandemic is coordinated media hype, which is actually down from 57% in August. Only 18% of Czechs think the disease is high risk. 40% of Czechs think the restrictions are unnecessary and needlessly infringe on their personal freedoms. 

The research also indicates that the general feeling of COVID-19 not actually being a big deal remains fairly steady over time, even as the pandemic worsens.

These are the things, according to the experts, that are driving the Czech Republic’s far worse-than-average COVID-19 cases.

Helena Hnilicová, from the Institute of Public Health and Medical Law, 1st Faculty of Medicine, Charles University, said that the Czech’s individualist mentality is not an advantage during a pandemic. 

“It turns out that in Czech society, there is a very large percentage of people who care more about their personal freedoms than the safety of others, which is proving to be disadvantageous during a pandemic.” 

Hnilicová also said that only about 77%-84% are sufficiently washing their hands, wearing masks, and social distancing.

Alena Šteflová, former Deputy Minister of Health for the Czech Republic who has also worked in the WHO, said that the results do indicate a growing willingness of Czechs to take the COVID-19 vaccine. The data shows that 47% of people were willing to take it in August, 38% in November, and 53% in January. 

At the time of writing, Novinky’s survey that asks “Do you trust the government and its measures to stop coronavirus?” has 68.4% of respondents saying “No.” 

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