A comparative study of residents’ responses between the epicentre and the surrounding areas in Hubei province during the COVID-19 outbreak


Gao, H., Zou, Y., & Chen, X.

Asia Pacific Journal of Public Health (2020)

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Abstract: The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 was first reported in Wuhan, the capital city of Hubei province, China, in December 2019. To contain the spread of the virus, authorities imposed a lockdown on Wuhan and other 16 cities in Hubei for months. This study aims to evaluate individual responses toward the pandemic in areas with different levels of infection severity. A total of 10 424 residents in Hubei participated in the online and telephone surveys. Results showed that various life stress and psychological distress were prevalent due to the pandemic and the massive lockdown. However, residents showed very high appraisal for central government and state media and support for lockdown strategy. Moreover, there were both similarities and differences in responses. People in Wuhan experienced more life difficulties, anxiety, and discrimination and had a lower appraisal for the local government and media than their counterparts. In contrast, perceived economic loss, evaluation of central government, and attitude toward lockdowns were not significantly different among residents at the epicenter and the surroundings.

About the author: Chen Xi was a HYI Visiting Fellow from 2013-14.