7 Jul 2020

NZ takes part in international survey on Covid-19

12:16 pm on 7 July 2020

New Zealand is to take part in an international survey looking at the psychological effects of the coronavirus pandemic and how different government responses to Covid-19 have affected citizens.

TAMPA, FL - JUNE 25: A healthcare worker administers a coronavirus test to a patient at the Lee Davis Community Resource Center on June 25, 2020 in Tampa, Florida. T

File photo. Photo: AFP

Scientists in eight countries have just three weeks to survey 1000 people.

Candidates will be asked about their mental wellbeing as well as their trust in government messaging, news reporting and social media.

Public health expert Professor Philip Schluter is leading the New Zealand team and told Morning Report they want to look at the long-term psychological impacts of disasters and major events.

Schluter said they hope to repeat the surveys in 12 months to track how people go and how they differ across cultures and countries' responses to the virus.

A big component of the study is to measure where and how people get their information about the virus from.

He said the New Zealand team have already finished their survey and found Kiwis have high trust in health authorities

"That's probably a reflection of the response that we had which was quite coordinated."

However, he said most interviews were done before the border violations became apparent so our data could have a halo effect.

"That's going to be really interesting to see going forward."

Schluter is also the academic lead on the wellbeing project set up in response to the Christchurch earthquakes and said he had a special interest in seeing how Cantabrians responded to the virus.

"I want to look at Christchurch versus the rest of the country data to see how we're doing," he said.

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