Thais are the most likely in Southeast Asia to have been tested for the coronavirus in the past week, according to a new survey from international market-research firm YouGov.
Online interviews conducted by YouGov and Imperial College London with 6,073 adults in Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam from Aug. 17-23 found that 25 percent of Thais reported having been tested for Covid-19.
After going 100 days without a local infection, Thailand has stepped up Covid-19 testing and contact-tracing after a Bangkok deejay tested positive for the virus. Suvarnabhumi International Airport also unveiled rapid testing for international travelers in July.
Indonesians are reportedly the second-most likely to have been tested for Covid-19, with almost two in ten (18 percent) having done in the past week.
Indonesia currently requires mandatory testing for factory workers, and testing for intercity travel. However, the suggested high rates of testing in the country could be due to the fact that the nation primarily uses rapid antibody tests, which has since been discouraged by the World Health Organization.
The third most tested in the ASEAN region is Vietnam (16 percent), followed by Malaysia (9 percent) and the Philippines (7 percent). Singaporeans are reportedly the least likely to be tested in Southeast Asia.
Singapore’s low testing rate
A possible explanation as to why Singaporeans are the least likely to be tested in ASEAN is that they are currently the least likely to be exhibiting Covid-19 symptoms.
When asked if they had experienced dry cough, fever, loss of sense of smell, loss of sense or taste or shortness of breath, over nine in ten (93 percent) reported they had not. Asymptomatic testing is strictly prohibited in the nation.
Malaysians are the second-least likely to have exhibited Covid-19 symptoms in the past week, with nine in ten (91 percent) reporting no symptoms. They are followed by Vietnam and the Philippines (both 88 percent) and Thailand (85 percent). Indonesians are the most likely to be exhibiting symptoms in ASEAN (84 percent).
In spite of the lockdown being lifted mid last month, Filipinos remain the most likely to remain at home, with two in five (41 percent) answering they did not leave the house. The nation currently has the highest number of Covid-19 cases in ASEAN.
Malaysians are the second most likely to stay home (32 percent), with the nation’s infectivity rate surging to a critical level. This is followed by Singaporeans (29 percent) who are the third most likely to stay home, Indonesians (16 percent) and Thais (12 percent). As the nation with the lowest confirmed number of cases in the region, the Vietnamese are the least likely to stay home (10 percent).
YouGov is an international, full-service market research agency. A pioneer of online market research, YouGov employs sophisticated technology to ensure the collection of high quality, in-depth and continuous data for the world’s leading businesses and institutions.
YouGov has a panel of 6 million members across 38 markets, making it one of the world’s top ten international market research networks. YouGov APAC has 7 offices across the region, with a rapidly growing panel of 1 million, representing all ages, socio-economic groups and other demographic types.