GeoPoll is running a series of studies about the coronavirus outbreak and its impact on the day to day livelihood. Most countries have now reported cases of COVID-19 and most people are aware of the pandemic. Governments have announced various measures to help flatten the curve. Through pieces of training and other information, individuals are also taking their own measures.

From our latest report, we found that 96% of the respondents said they are taking measures to prevent themselves from contracting coronavirus.

Prevention measures

The World Health Organisation has recommended social distancing, washing hands, avoiding touching the face and respiratory hygiene as ways to avoid contracting and spreading coronavirus. So our survey sought to understand which of the measures people are taking to protect themselves.

Most people seem to be taking this advice seriously – 54% said they have increased their hygiene practices (mostly washing hands). Half of the respondents said they are now avoiding public places and a further 18% said they are not using public means of transport.

Speaking avoiding public spaces, many governments have imposed lockdown in varying degrees and this seems to have a big impact. We found self-quarantine more prevalent in countries like South Africa and Rwanda, compared to countries with relaxed movement guidelines like Tanzania and Benin. On average, 72% said they are self-quarantining – staying at home except for essential reasons.

Seeking healthcare

What would you do if you started feeling some coronavirus symptoms? Did you know that most people with COVID-19 have mild illness and can recover at home without medical care? CDC advises that if you feel mild symptoms, it may not be necessary to leave your home. Just take care of yourself, get rest and stay hydrated unless symptoms worsen.

When we asked in the survey, most people (58%) said they would go to a hospital if they had mild coronavirus symptoms. Only 12% said they would stay at home!

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coronavirus healthcare

Coronavirus information sources

If we are to protect ourselves from coronavirus, we have to get the right information. Be selective about your information sources and make sure they are credible. We found that TV is the most common information source for coronavirus-related news (45%) followed closely by social media (40%) – especially with younger people. A sizeable number of people (14%) get their information from friends and family on social media. So ensure that information is correct before you share!

This article is derived from the GeoPoll Impact of COVID-19 Across Africa report. If you are a member of the GeoPoll community, you may have come across the surveys via SMS or mobile web – or you will be receiving more of such surveys in the coming weeks. Thank you for participating!


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