Two thirds of Hong Kongers afraid of contracting the Wuhan coronavirus
February 12th, 2020, Kim Ho

Two thirds of Hong Kongers afraid of contracting the Wuhan coronavirus

Almost a quarter believe the whole of Hong Kong be put in quarantine

With the Wuhan coronavirus spreading across the globe, and 425 reported deaths in Mainland China so far, latest YouGov research looks into sentiments about the outbreak.

Almost all (99%) of Hong Kongers have heard about the Wuhan coronavirus, and two thirds (67%) have expressed fears over contracting it. Women are more likely to fear being infected than men (72% vs. 61%). Though the Wuhan coronavirus appears to be susceptible towards the elderly, it is younger Hong Kongers that fear it more than older Hong Kongers. While eight in ten (82%) of Hong Kongers aged 18 to 24 are afraid of contracting the virus, this is only the cause for two in five (40%) of those aged 55 and above. Those with children under the age of 18 are also more likely to be afraid than those without children (74% vs. 63%). Of all Hong Kongers, three in ten (30%) are ‘very scared’, almost two in five (38%) are ‘fairly scared’. A quarter (25%) are not very scared and a small percentage (4%) are ‘not at all scared’. The remaining 5% are undecided.

Overall, the majority (79%) of Hong Kongers think that the government are not doing enough to contain the virus. Only one in six (17%) believe that they are doing the right amount. A small percentage (2%) believe they are doing too much, and the remaining 2% are undecided.

Looking at governmental measure that could be taken, almost eight in ten (77%) believe that anyone that has been in contact with a contaminated patient be quarantined. A similar amount (76%) believe that there should be an increase in facemask production locally. Almost a quarter (23%) think that more drastic measures should be taken, by putting Hong Kong in quarantine.


Hong Kongers are not just leaving it up to the government to help contain the virus, and have taken measures of their own. Most (88%) Hong Kongers are now wearing facemasks in public. Over eight in ten (85%) have improved their personal hygiene, eight in ten (82%) are avoiding crowded places, over four in ten (46%) are avoiding eating raw or uncooked meat and over a third (37%) are avoiding going to work or school.

Jake Gammon, Head of Omnibus APAC at YouGov Omnibus commented: “As the Wuhan coronavirus dominates the media and people’s conversations, we were keen to find out exactly how Hong Kongers are coping with the outbreak. It is clear that a significant amount fear the virus, especially women, young adults and parents -- and the majority believe that more governmental measures can be taken. Even seemingly drastic measures, like quarantining the entire nation are favoured by quite a few.”

***Results based on 2,081 Hong Kongers surveyed by YouGov Omnibu