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Physical distancing, mass testing most effective virus control measures – poll

NAIROBI, Kenya,  Jul 5 – A new study conducted by Trends and Insights For Africa (TIFA) has ranked physical distancing, restriction of movement in and out of hotspot areas and mass testing as the most effective measures in controlling the spread of coronavirus at 24, 19 and 13 per cent respectively,

The study conducted in Nairobi’s low income areas between June 2 and 15 also identified wearing of masks, restriction of mass gatherings and the use of sanitizers as other effective measures in combating the spread of coronavirus at 2 per cent.

“Among all the required/recommended COVID-19 prevention measures of which respondents are aware, the single one deemed most effective is keeping distance in public places with 24 per cent mentions,” the survey noted.

This figure represents a slight increase from the 19 per cent of respondents who acknowledged the effectiveness of physical distancing in a similar survey conducted between June 2 and 5.

The effectiveness of staying at home advisories was rated at 8 per cent, imposition of dusk-to-dawn curfew at 9 per cent  while testing suspected patients and arresting those violating virus prevention regulations were each rated at 4 per cent.

Hand washing, public awareness and contact tracing of suspected cases had mentions from 3 percent of the 579 respondents interviewed.

In terms of awareness of the measures by the respondents, wearing of masks earned the highest mentions followed by dusk-to-dawn curfew, travel restrictions, social distancing, prohibition of mass gatherings and stay at home advisories.

“There is more awareness of those prevention measures that are required, especially when their enforcement has resulted in ‘drama’ as reported by the media, such as violence by the police in enforcing the curfew,” TIFA noted.

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The survey was conducted in Huruma, Kibera, Mathare, Korogocho, Mukuru kwa Njenga, Kawangware in Nairobi.

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