SINGAPORE – Most Singapore residents say the government has effectively handled the coronavirus pandemic, in ways that reflected the strength of the political system, a Pew Research Centre survey has found.

Apart from Singapore, most respondents in Hungary, Israel and Sweden felt that their country’s handling of the coronavirus showed their nations’ strengths.

Their views are in contrast to the overall 19-country median, that showed 52 per cent of respondents saying their governments have failed to effectively handle the pandemic in ways that show the weaknesses of the political system, and deepened political divisions.

“On balance, more people say their country is failing to handle the Covid-19 outbreak in ways that show the weaknesses of their political system (a median of 52 per cent) than see their country effectively handling the pandemic in ways that show the strengths of their system (a median of 44 per cent),” Pew said in the report that was released on Thursday (Aug 11).

Of those in Singapore polled by Pew, 74 per cent agreed that the handling of the Covid-19 pandemic has shown the strength of the country’s political system.

This compared with the 24 per cent of survey respondents in the Republic who said the government has failed to effectively handled the pandemic in ways that show the weaknesses of the political system.

The survey of 24,525 adults was conducted by Pew in 19 upper- and middle-income countries between Feb 14 to June 3 this year.

The survey noted that Americans “stand out among all 19 countries surveyed for being the most likely to perceive division in the country and the most likely to say that the country’s response to the pandemic has highlighted the failings of the political system,” the report said.

“Only in the US does a majority of even the governing party supporters – Democrats, in this case – say the virus has laid bare the country’s political failings.”

Pew said that while Singapore abandoned its “zero Covid” policy last October, the country has been “largely successful at suppressing the spread of the virus prior to the development of effective vaccines”.

The report added that “positive feelings are most common in Singapore, where nearly nine-in-ten adults say the city-state has done a good job dealing with the coronavirus outbreak.”

The survey did not say how many Singapore residents were polled.

Pew said for non-United States data the report drew on nationally representative surveys of 20,944 adults from Feb 14 to June 3, with the polling conducted over the phone with adults in countries such as Canada, Belgium, Malaysia, Japan and Australia.

In the United States, it surveyed 3,581 US adults from March 21 to 27, 2022.

In the United States, feelings about how the government dealt with Covid differed based on political affiliation.

More than two-thirds US Democrats and left-leaning voters said the government has handled the pandemic well, compared with 45 per cent of Republicans.