The African Centre for Disease Control (ACDC) has revealed that 40 percent of Africans believe they could not contract COVID-19, while more than 60 percent believe COVID-19 could be prevented by drinking lemon or taking vitamin C.
The center disclosed this during a webinar hosted in collaboration with with a PR firm Gatefield to guide journalists in their reportage around the COVID-19 pandemic.
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The center said findings from a survey conducted in March and April in 28 cities across 20 AU Member states showed that less than half the people interviewed about the deadly COVID-19 pandemic believed they faced the risk of contracting the virus.
The survey also gathered real-time information about the dynamics of the pandemic, governments’ responses to it, and people’s perceptions of both, to help governments implement the best public health and social measures to contain the virus.
While speaking at the webinar, the Principal communicator at the Africa CDC, James Ayodele, said that the continent had adopted a continental operations strategy that hope to conduct 10 million COVID-19 tests in Africa, deploy 1 million community health workers, train 100 000 health care workers by the end of 2020 and set up a procurement platform on the CDC’s site to help supply member states with the necessary health equipment.
Also speaking Dr. Emmanuel Agogo from Resolve to Save Lives said that even though Africa’s COVID-19 numbers have been lower than the rest of the world, it was important to identify the common trends, issues, and attitudes across the phases of the outbreak.
He said in Africa currently, there are 418 002 cases, 10 404 deaths, and close to 200 000 recoveries.
“Outbreaks and pandemics come in various phases. We need to keep vigilant. COVID-19 will hit rural areas and villages later than urban centers,” said Agogo.
Resolve to save lives is an initiative that has been funded to look at the COVID-19 response.
He said the study found 4 in 5 respondents anticipated that COVID-19 would be a big problem in their states, but their personal risk perception for contracting the virus was low.
He also said that about 73% thought that a hot climate prevents the spread of the virus and 61% believe that avoiding a person who has recovered from COVID-19 prevents them from getting it.
“This was dangerous, because it meant they were less likely to follow public health measures advice because they did not think they would be affected” he said.
Agogo advised journalists to focus on four lenses when they report on the pandemic.
These lenses are lives, livelihoods, liberties, and the long term.
These were the lives that were affected, the impact on people’s livelihoods, the liberties of people as well as the long-term effects that it would have.