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Global study: how many people know someone who has died from COVID-19?

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In some countries as many as one in five have suffered the loss of a loved one to the disease

In some countries as many as one in five have suffered the loss of a loved one to the disease

While many people have seen their lives indirectly disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, through restrictions like being confined indoors and being unable to see other people, a new international YouGov looks at how many people’s lives have been touched directly by the virus itself.

The study, conducted in 16 countries and regions, asked people whether they, their relatives, or their friends had caught, become sick from, or died of COVID-19.

How many people know someone who has tested positive for COVID-19?

Spaniards are the most likely to say that someone they know has tested positive for COVID-19, at 63%. This includes 6% who say they themselves have confirmation they have had the disease, as well as 34% whose family has been affected and 33% whose friends caught it. (The figures don’t sum to 63% as for some people will have known people from more than one category who caught the disease).

Close behind are America, Poland and Italy, where 58-60% of people know someone who has tested positive for the virus.

Here in Britain, 57% know of someone who has been confirmed with the virus. One in twenty Britons (5%) say they have tested positive for COVID-19, with a quarter (26%) saying this has happened to a family member and 36% to a close friend.

People in China (4%) and Singapore (6%) are the least likely to know anyone who has definitely had the disease.

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How many people know someone who has become seriously unwell from COVID-19?

Americans and Poles are the most likely to know someone whose health has been seriously harmed by coronavirus, at 33% and 31% respectively.

Spanish people (28%), Italians (27%) and Britons (27%) are also among the more likely to have seen someone close to them become severely sick from the disease.

How many people know someone who has died from COVID-19?

Americans and Italians are the most likely have lost a friend or family member to COVID-19, at 21%. (It is worth noting a separate YouGov poll conducted more recently in the US alone has that figure even higher, at 29%).

One in five Spanish and Polish people (19%) also say that someone close to them has died from the diseases, as do 18% of urban Indians.

Here in Britain, coronavirus has taken the life of someone close to one in eight Britons (13%). One in twenty Britons (5%) have lost seen a family member succumb to the disease, with 8% having lost a close friend.

People in China and Singapore are the least likely to have lost someone they love to the disease, at just 2% in each country.

See the full results here

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