Background: In Oyo State, Nigeria, Covid-19 poses a significant public health problem. Despite the recommendation of the state government, anecdotal evidence indicates compliance with the preventive steps was low. Therefore, the need to determine the views of public risk on COVID-19 and the degree of adherence to the preventive measures of covid-19 that are essential for the creation of risk communications and the reopening processes.
Methods: The Health Belief Model drives the research. Using a random and purposeful selection of 1731 survey respondents who were interviewed, a quantitative approach was used. Data were examined to see how rural-urban, gender, and educational disparities differ.
Results: COVID-19 was not perceived by the majority as a health hazard (63%). Just 53 % of respondents perceived themselves as prone to COVID-19 illness. The restrictions were explicitly adhered to by only a few people. Maybe because of law enforcement, the most preventive measure reportedly observed was staying at home (81%). Male respondents were 1.494 times more likely than females to have a higher degree of perceived self-efficacy. Most respondents (77.2%) indicated that they did not like the COVID-19 preventive guidelines made by governments. Owing to the 14-15 days isolation time typically put on those who tested positive, there was a high degree of Covid-19 stigmatization and refusal to go for COVID-19 screening, and almost half (45.8%) did not trust the COVID-19 test kits with most participants perceiving that they might be infected by them. Likewise, as vaccines became available, the majority would not like to be vaccinated. Less than 1% reported having signs that have usually been used in the last 14 days to diagnose COVID-19. Few of the survey respondents (21.5%) stated that the announcements on radio and television did not motivate them to comply with the protective steps of COVID-19.
Conclusion: A risk communication framework with multi-stakeholder engagement in its implementation was suggested based on these findings that revealed public low-risk perceptions of threat, susceptibility, severity, and perceived efficacy of COVID-19. A risk communication framework is suggested to improve opportunities for enforcement with the active engagement of key stakeholders in preparation and execution.
Keywords: COVID-19, Risk perception, Preventive recommendations, Risk communication, Nigeria