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Nigerians’ response to COVID-19 pandemic, by study

A data analysis firm, ResearcherNG, has released five major findings from its survey on perception and attitude of Nigerians to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Coronavirus
Coronavirus

The research which was released on Sunday, May 31, 2020 in Abuja, aimed at understanding public behaviour and the effect of the pandemic on the lives of people.

In a statement, Ms Farida Adamu,  Lead Consultant on the research, said the findings were  from the survey conducted between April 6 and April 30.

She said ResearcherNG sampled the opinion of 1,122 Nigerians to arrive at the conclusions.

Stating the five major findings, she said that 43 per cent of the population sampled said they knew someone who took pay cuts, lost their jobs, with some of them affected in either.

“The coronavirus  did not only affect healthcare systems across the world but crippled businesses and affected economies in eventful ways.

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“ResearcherNG, in seeking to validate experiences of people, shared mostly via online channels, asked respondents what their current views were.

“Forty-three per cent said they had either lost their jobs/businesses, taken pay cuts or knew someone who had similar experiences.

“Thirty-two per cent said they still had their jobs and full pay, two per cent of our respondents said they got financial support from their employers, while one per cent were uncertain about their next pay.

“Fourteen per cent of our respondents said they considered taking a loan to ease financial stress,” she said.

The firm also found out that 55.5 per cent of the survey respondents said they now attended religious events online only, while 18.6 per cent said nothing had changed about the way they practiced religion.

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Furthermore, the firm’s findings revealed that one of the most important issues that had trailed public space since the outbreak of the coronavirus was about its origins.

It noted that lots of conspiracies and theories had emerged about where the virus must have emerged from.

On where the coronavirus came from, most of the respondents, 43.8 per cent actually, thought it was developed intentionally by someone in a lab.

They bowed to the theory that surfaced on the internet that the disease originated from a lab in Wuhan, China.

The research finding also revealed that Nigerians had higher levels of confidence in the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) than they did with the rest of Government in their response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Nigeria confronted the coronavirus at a time where trust in many public institutions was abysmally low.

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“ResearcherNG measured perception toward the NCDC and the rest of government by asking respondents how confident they were in the response of the NCDC versus that of other government agencies,” she  added.

She said that social media was the primary source of news on COVID-19 related issues for most Nigerians.

According to the findings, Nigerians also think the media are covering the outbreak of the coronavirus well.

“55.8 per cent of respondents said they have been following news about the coronavirus outbreak very closely, and get most of  the COVID-19 related information from social media,” she said.

As at May 30, Nigeria had a total of 9,855 confirmed COVID-19 cases according to statistics released by the NCDC.

By Edith Ike-Eboh

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