Macron on brink: France turns on president over coronavirus plan – damning polls

More than half of French people disapprove of their government’s handling of the coronavirus crisis, a poll published on Wednesday found, though most are trying to remain upbeat despite the tough lockdown imposed to help contain the spread of the disease. The poll, conducted by Elabe-Berger Levrault for the 24-hour news channel BFM-TV, found 56 percent of French people think the health crisis is being “poorly managed” by President Macron’s government.

Forty-four percent said the Macron administration was handling the crisis “well”.

However, 52 percent said they “don’t trust” the government to do what is right to combat the outbreak, compared with 48 percent who said the opposite.

More than two-thirds (64 percent), told pollsters they were doing their utmost to remain positive despite the lockdown.

But 87 percent still expressed “concern” about the spiralling pandemic.

A separate poll by Kantar for Le Figaro also published on Wednesday found only 33 percent of French people think that public services in their country are prepared to cope with the epidemic and its consequences.

The survey, carried out in all G7 countries – Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States – also found that most people interviewed were washing their hands for longer to avoid getting sick.

In Britain, just 28 percent of people said they had started working from home more often and only a little over half said they were avoiding visits to elderly and vulnerable relatives and friends where possible, the poll showed.

The survey was conducted last week, before Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered people to stay at home.

Italy, the country worst hit by the virus, had the highest number of respondents saying they were “very concerned” about the health of their local community, the availability of local health services and care for the elderly and vulnerable.

But it also had the highest number of people who approved of the way their government was responding to the pandemic, at 39 percent.

Japan had the lowest number of people in this category (5 percent) followed by the UK (17 percent).

The highly contagious infection has caused entire countries and regions to be placed on full lockdown, halting services and production and breaking supply chains.

Nearly a third of the world’s population is now under strict orders to stay indoors.
 
Many governments have heeded the advice of health experts, who have repeatedly warned the only way to slow the epidemic and save lives is by imposing drastic “social distancing” measures.

The new coronavirus, which originated in China in December, has infected more than 438,000 people around the globe and killed over 20,000, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

• The Elabe poll of 1,003 people was conducted online on March 23-24; while the Kantar poll was carried out on March 19-21, with an average of 1,000 people interviewed in each G7 country.

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