The UK’s trust in the government’s handling of the Covid-19 crisis has plummeted as scientists desperately try to fight the illness.
A public opinion poll, conducted by Opinium for the Observer, shows that for a second week in a row there has been a rise in the number of people losing trust in the country’s leaders, with the government’s disapproval rating rising from 26 per cent to 30 per cent.
The drop in public confidence comes as the nation continues to control the scale of the pandemic as the UK death toll passed 20,000 yesterday– up by 813 in 24 hours.
According to the political poll, just seven per cent of the general public think the level of testing carried out by the government has been sufficient while an overwhelming 71 per cent have said it is insufficient and another 13 per cent said they were not sure.
The public opinion poll, conducted by Opinium, shows that Britons are losing trust in the country’s leaders, with the government’s disapproval rating rising from 26 per cent to 30 per cent
Another question saw that 71 per cent of the public felt that the current levels of testing in the UK have been insufficient
The research also revealed that 62 per cent of the public did not think the government had acted fast enough while only 30 per cent felt the speed was sufficient.
The poll, which comes as ministers including foreign secretary Dominic Raab and health secretary Matt Hancock face mounting pressure about their handling of the crisis, also showed that Britons felt countries such as Germany and South Korea had handled the crisis better.
In another graph shared by Opinium, 24 per cent of those asked felt the UK had performed a lot worse that South Korea, while 27 per cent felt the country had handled the crisis a lot worse than Germany.
The statistics also showed 16 per cent of the public felt the UK has also performed a lot worse than Australia and 14 per cent felt the nation had handled the situation worse than China.
Adam Drummond of Opinium told The Observer that while the government had initially seen the public rally behind their efforts within a matter of weeks ‘overall approval has fluctuated’.
He said: ‘However, now that we have been in lockdown for a few weeks and people are less scared of catching the virus themselves – though still worried about the situation – the focus of the news has started to include more specific aspects of the response, such as testing, where government failings have been put in the spotlight.
‘Overall approval has fluctuated and ticked downwards but is still stronger than before the lockdown came into effect.
‘People don’t want the government to fail, which is why we see this gap between overall approval of their handling of the situation, which is still strong, and much lower approval on specific aspects of it, like testing or whether the government acted quickly enough.’
The study also showed that 63 per cent of the public did not think the government has acted fast enough to prevent the virus
One graph showed that 49 per cent of the public felt confident in the government’s handling of the situation while 30 per cent did not
Another graph showed 24 per cent of those asked felt the UK had performed a lot worse that South Korea
The latest study comes as volunteers for an experimental coronavirus vaccine trial have received their first doses this week.
Scientists at the Jenner Institute, University of Oxford, begun the first human trial in Europe by administering the trial injections, which were developed in under three months, to more than 800 volunteers on Thursday.
And Health Secretary Matt Hancock has insisted that Britons will be first in the queue for any successful UK-developed vaccine from the £42 million programmes.
But Downing Street is refusing to make any promises over who will benefit first from the drug due to concerns another country might produce one first.
The latest opinion poll comes as scientists at the Jenner Institute, University of Oxford, begun the first human vaccine trial in Europe
The study also comes an ministers including Dominc Raab face mounting pressure about their handling of the crisis
A Department of Health and Social Care source told the Telegraph: ‘If Britain is first to develop a vaccine he wants to make sure British people have first refusal.’
The trial will see half of the candidates injected with the coronavirus vaccine, made from a weakened version of the common cold virus from chimpanzees, while the other half will be given a meningitis vaccine.
Microbiologist and volunteer Elisa Granato told the BBC: ‘Well I’m a scientist so of course I want to try and support the scientific process wherever I can and since I don’t study viruses I felt a bit useless these days so I felt this is a very easy way for me to support the cause.’