Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

An international team, led by Phaik Yeong Cheah, conducted an anonymous online survey from May-June 2020, asking 5,058 people in Thailand, Malaysia, United Kingdom, Italy and Slovenia to share their experiences. Anne Osterrieder and colleagues report the unequal impacts of public health measures, and the prevalence of ‘fake news’.

Photo of a busy desk, with a laptop and a mask © Supa-at Asarath

During the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 our lives changed dramatically, as governments implemented various public health measures to curb the spread of the virus. But what were the impacts of those restrictions on different social groups, and how did people receive information about COVID-19?

Between May-June 2020, in the first wave of the pandemic, the mixed-methods SEBCOV study asked people in Thailand, Malaysia, UK, Italy and Slovenia to share their experiences. Over 5,000 respondents completed our anonymous online survey. Now published in BMJ Open, SEBCOV’s data showed that COVID-19 and public health measures affected people from different countries and social groups unequally.

For example, those with lower education levels, people under 24 and over 65 years old, or those living with children under 18 reported more adverse economic impacts. Among the five countries, Thai respondents appeared to have been most affected economically, with Slovenian respondents least affected.

Many respondents reported seeing ‘fake news’, and the proportion varied between countries, with education level, and self-reported levels of understanding of COVID-19. Understanding the factors associated with these impacts can help to inform future public health interventions and mitigate their negative consequences.

Anne Osterrieder and Phaik Yeong Cheah, on behalf of the SEBCOV team.

Read the publication: Economic and social impacts of COVID-19 and public health measures: results from an anonymous online survey in Thailand, Malaysia, the UK, Italy and Slovenia, on the BMJ Open website

Similar stories

NDM recognizes MORU DPhils students' outstanding research impact

Every year, the Nuffield Department of Medicine (NDM) awards NDM Prizes to its most outstanding graduate research students. MORU was well represented this year, with Mo Yin and Rebecca Inglis highly commended in the category NDM Overall Prize, for conducting research with an outstanding impact. Will Schilling (MORU) received a prize as first year DPhil student.

Congratulations new Associate Professors

Following the meeting of the Medical Sciences Divisional Committee to consider applications for the conferral of the title of Associate Professor, we are pleased to announce that Rashan Haniffa, Dorcas Kamuya, Isabella Oyier, Le Van Tan and Timothy Walker have been awarded the title Associate Professor

COPCOV now world’s largest COVID-19 pre-exposure prophylaxis trial

A 6-week recruitment burst at Aga Khan University in Pakistan led the way as COPCOV enrolment broke 1600 participants. Led by MORU, COPCOV is the world’s largest trial trying to determine if hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine prevent COVID-19.

Recruitment surges in COPCOV COVID-19 prevention study

As high COVID-19 daily cases and highly transmissible variants risk overwhelming countries’ healthcare systems, COPCOV, the world’s last-standing large prophylaxis RCT, faces tight timelines to determine whether chloroquine/ hydroxychloroquine prevents COVID-19

Simple blood tests may help improve malaria diagnosis in clinical studies

About one-third of children diagnosed with severe malaria may instead have an alternative cause of illness, but simple blood tests could help researchers distinguish between the two and speed up research on new treatments.

ASM Editor in conversation with Nick White

Malaria continues to be a major killer, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, affecting the world’s most vulnerable populations with more than 500,000 deaths per year, most of them African children. Emergence of resistance to antimalarial drugs is major public health issue. American Society for Microbiology Editor Dr Cesar Arias discusses with Professor Sir Nick White the latest information on this rapidly evolving field.