South Africans' understanding of and response to the COVID-19 outbreak: an online survey

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dc.date.accessioned 2022-08-17T12:52:46Z
dc.date.available 2022-08-17T12:52:46Z
dc.date.issued 2020-09-07 en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11910/15421
dc.description.abstract The COVID-19 outbreak is in an accelerating phase, and South Africa (SA) has had the highest number of documented cases during the early phase of the pandemic in sub-Saharan Africa. The objectives were to assess South Africans' understanding of and response to COVID-19 during the first week of the country's lockdown period. An online survey was conducted in SA from 27 March to 2 April 2020. The survey was distributed widely among several websites and social media networks, including on a data-free platform. Descriptive statistics of knowledge, risk perception, access to and trust in information sources, and public and media opinions were calculated. Estimates were benchmarked to the 2019 national adult population estimates. Of the 55 823 participants, the majority (83.4%) correctly identified the main symptoms of COVID-19. Over 90% had correct knowledge of the incubation period, with lower rates for 18 - 29-year-olds. Knowledge of symptoms and the incubation period varied significantly by population group (p<0.001), dwelling type (p<0.001) and sex (p<0.001). A quarter (24.9%) perceived themselves as at high risk of contracting COVID-19. Risk perception varied by age, population group, employment status and dwelling type (p<0.001). The most prevalent COVID-19 information sources were government sources (72.9%), news websites/apps (56.3%), satellite television (51.6%) and local television (51.4%). Understanding knowledge, attitudes and behaviours of people facing the COVID-19 pandemic is crucial for guiding strategic policy. These findings provide public understanding of COVID-19 as the phases of the country-level epidemic progress, and also directly inform communication needs and gaps. en
dc.format.medium Print en
dc.subject COVID-19 en
dc.subject ONLINE RESEARCH en
dc.subject NATIONAL SURVEY en
dc.title South Africans' understanding of and response to the COVID-19 outbreak: an online survey en
dc.type Journal Article en
dc.description.version Y en
dc.ProjectNumber N/A en
dc.Volume August en
dc.BudgetYear 2020/21 en
dc.ResearchGroup Human and Social Capabilities en
dc.ResearchGroup Deputy CEO: Research en
dc.ResearchGroup Impact Centre en
dc.SourceTitle South African Medical Journal en
dc.ArchiveNumber 11449 en
dc.PageNumber Online en
dc.outputnumber 10696 en
dc.bibliographictitle Reddy, S.P., Sewpaul, R., Mabaso, M., Parker, S., Naidoo, I., Jooste, S., Mokhele, T., Sifunda, S. & Zuma, K. (2020) South Africans' understanding of and response to the COVID-19 outbreak: an online survey. South African Medical Journal. August:Online. http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11910/15421 en
dc.publicationyear 2020 en
dc.contributor.author1 Reddy, S.P. en
dc.contributor.author2 Sewpaul, R. en
dc.contributor.author3 Mabaso, M. en
dc.contributor.author4 Parker, S. en
dc.contributor.author5 Naidoo, I. en
dc.contributor.author6 Jooste, S. en
dc.contributor.author7 Mokhele, T. en
dc.contributor.author8 Sifunda, S. en
dc.contributor.author9 Zuma, K. en


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