Research Article

COVID-19 Virulence: Hinderances to Observing the Preventive Measures

Ivy Kesewaa Nkrumah 1 * , Millan Ahema Tawiah 1 , Kofi Ayebi Arthur 1 , Lebbaeus Asamani 1 , Ebenezer Takyi-Wadieh 1
More Detail
1 University of Cape Coast, GHANA* Corresponding Author
Mediterranean Journal of Social & Behavioral Research, 5(3), October 2021, 59-66, https://doi.org/10.30935/mjosbr/11293
OPEN ACCESS   1051 Views   677 Downloads
Download Full Text (PDF)

ABSTRACT

The Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is the defining global health crisis in contemporary times. To date, there is no particular cure for COVID-19 and prevention remains the chief approach in tackling the pandemic. Social distancing, hand sanitising, wearing of nose masks and handwashing have been imposed by the government of Ghana to limit the disease spread. However, research (e.g., Bonful et al., 2020) shows that some sections of Ghanaians do not fully adhere to the COVID-19 preventive measures. This study sought to examine the extent to which university students observe each of the aforementioned government-imposed COVID-19 preventive measures and the factors that impair students’ efforts to observe these measures. Using a multi-stage sampling procedure, a total of one hundred and eighty-three students (88 males and 95 females) with mean age of 26 participated in the study. A cross-sectional survey design was employed for the study, and a questionnaire was used for data collection. Whereas most respondents reported wearing their nose masks and sanitising their hands quite frequently, a significant few also declined practicing these. Maintaining social distancing was the least and most infrequent practiced preventive measure. The barriers to observing the preventive measures included the number of students the university maintains in a room, unavailability of the needed materials and inappropriate positioning of the handwashing and hand sanitising stations, the expressed discomfort associated with prolonged use of facemasks, and the social behaviours of students not taking such actions in response to normative group influence. It was recommended that the university management invest more resources to increase and equip the handwashing and hand sanitising stations, modify the existing policy on room intake in the university halls and review the policy on instructional periods to facilitate student’s efforts in observing the preventive measures. In addition, awareness creation in terms of billboards and screen teasers are needed on the campuses to sensitise and engender students to do the needful.

CITATION (APA)

Nkrumah, I. K., Tawiah, M. A., Arthur, K. A., Asamani, L., & Takyi-Wadieh, E. (2021). COVID-19 Virulence: Hinderances to Observing the Preventive Measures. Mediterranean Journal of Social & Behavioral Research, 5(3), 59-66. https://doi.org/10.30935/mjosbr/11293

REFERENCES

  1. Agyekum, K. (2004). Aspects of Akan persuasive language. RASK-International Journal of Language and Communication, 21, 63-96.
  2. Agyekum, K. (2004). The socio-cultural concept of face in Akan communication. Pragmatics & Cognition, 12(1), 71-92. https://doi.org/10.1075/pc.12.1.06agy
  3. Agyekum, K. (2005). An Akan oral artist-the use of proverbs in the lyrics of Kwabena Konadu. Institute of African Studies Research Review, 21(1), 1-17. https://doi.org/10.4314/rrias.v21i1.22929
  4. Agyekum, K. (2008). The pragmatics of Akan greetings. Discourse Studies, 10(4), 493-516. https://doi.org/10.1177/1461445608091884
  5. Agyemang, E., Agyei-Mensah, S., & Kyere-Gyeabour, E. (2021). Face mask use among commercial drivers during the COVID-19 pandemic in Accra, Ghana. Journal of Community Health, 1-10. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10900-021-01004-0
  6. Bezerra, T. B., Valim, M. D., Bortolini, J., Ribeiro, R. P., Marcon, S. R., & Moura, M. E. B. (2020). Adherence to hand hygiene in critical sectors: Can we go on like this? Journal of Clinical Nursing, 29(13-14), 2691-2698. https://doi.org/10.1111/jocn.15293
  7. Bonful, H. A., Addo-Lartey, A., Aheto, J. M. K., Ganle, J. K., Sarfo, B., & Aryeetey, R. (2020). Limiting spread of COVID-19 in Ghana: Compliance audit of selected transportation stations in the greater accra region of Ghana. PloS One, 15(9), e0238971-e0238971. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0238971
  8. Chen, N., Zhou, M., Dong, X., Qu, J., Gong, F., Han, Y., Qiu, Y., Wang, J., Liu, Y., Wei, Y., Xia, J., Yu, T., Zhang, X., & Zhang, L. (2020). Epidemiological and clinical characteristics of 99 cases of 2019 novel coronavirus pneumonia in Wuhan, China: a descriptive study. Lancet, 395(10223), 507-513. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30211-7 PMID:32007143 PMCID:PMC7135076
  9. Coronaviridae Study Group of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses. (2020). The species severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus: Classifying 2019-nCoV and naming it SARS-CoV-2. Nature Microbiology, 5(4), 536-544. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41564-020-0695-z
  10. Doronina, O., Jones, D., Martello, M., Biron, A., & Lavoie‐Tremblay, M. (2017). A systematic review on the effectiveness of interventions to improve hand hygiene compliance of nurses in the hospital setting. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 49(2), 143-152. https://doi.org/10.1111/jnu.12274
  11. Dwipayanti, N. M. U., Lubis, D. S., & Harjana, N. P. A. (2021). Public perception and hand hygiene behavior during COVID-19 pandemic in indonesia. Frontiers in Public Health, 9, 621800-621800. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2021.621800
  12. Erasmus, V., Daha, T. J., Brug, J., Richardus, J. H., Behrendt, M. D., Vos, M., & van Beeck, E. F. (2010). Systematic review of studies on compliance with hand hygiene guidelines in hospital care. Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, 31(3), 283-294. https://doi.org/10.1086/650451
  13. Fielmua, N., Guba, B. Y., & Mwingyine, D. T. (2021). Hand hygiene and safety behaviours at shopping centres in COVID-19: An observation in wa township in Ghana. Journal of Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene for Development, 11(3), 442-452. https://doi.org/10.2166/washdev.2021.240
  14. Ghana Health Services. (2020). Situation update, Covid-19 outbreak in Ghana as at 2 July 2020. https://ghanahealthservice.org/covid19/archive.php
  15. Gorbalenya, E. A., Baker, S. C., Ralph, S. B., Groot, R. J., Drosten, C., A., Gulyaeva, B. L., Haagmans, B. L., Lauber, C., Leontovich, A. M., Neuman, B. W., Penzar, D., Perlman, S., Poon, L. L. M., Samborskiy, D., Sidorov, I. A., Sola, I., & Ziebuhr, J. (2020). Severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus: The species and its viruses – a statement of the Coronavirus Study Group. Nature Microbiology, 5, 536-544. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41564-020-0695-z
  16. Hills, S., & Eraso, Y. (2021). Factors associated with non-adherence to social distancing rules during the COVID-19 pandemic: A logistic regression analysis. BMC Public Health, 21(1), 1-25. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-021-10379-7
  17. Holmes, E. (2020). Novel-2019 coronavirus genome. http://virological.org/t/novel-2019-coronavirus-genome/319
  18. Hung, Y. (2018). A study of barriers to the wearing of face masks by adults in the US to prevent the spread of influenza. Arizona State University.
  19. Leung, N. H. L., Chu, D. K. W., Shiu, E. Y. C., Chan, K., McDevitt, J. J., Hau, B. J. P., Yen, H., Li, Y., Ip, D. K. M., Peiris, J. S. M., Seto, W., Leung, G. M., Milton, D. K., & Cowling, B. J. (2020). Respiratory virus shedding in exhaled breath and efficacy of face masks. Nature Medicine, 26(5), 676-680. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41591-020-0843-2
  20. Li, C., Li, H., Li, Q., Li, D., Guan, X., Wu, J. T., Wu, Y., Wu, P., Wang, R., Wang, Q., Wang, X., Zhou, L., Zhou, S., Tong, Y., Ren, R., Leung, G. M., Leung, K. S. M., Lau, E. H. Y., Wong, J. Y., . . . Feng, Z. (2020). Early transmission dynamics in wuhan, china, of novel Coronavirus–Infected pneumonia. The New England Journal of Medicine, 382(13), 1199-1207. https://doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa2001316
  21. Machida, M., Nakamura, I., Saito, R., Nakaya, T., Hanibuchi, T., Takamiya, T., Odagiri, Y., Fukushima, N., Kikuchi, H., Kojima, T., Watanabe, H., & Inoue, S. (2020). Adoption of personal protective measures by ordinary citizens during the COVID-19 outbreak in Japan. International Journal of Infectious Diseases, 94, 139-144. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijid.2020.04.014
  22. Martinelli Lucia, Kopilaš Vanja, Vidmar Matjaž, Heavin Ciara, Machado Helena, Todorović Zoran, Buzas Norbert, Pot Mirjam, Prainsack Barbara, Gajović Srećko (2021). Face masks during the COVID-19 pandemic: A simple protection tool with many meanings. Frontiers in Public Health, 8, 947. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2020.606635
  23. Martinelli, L., Kopilaš, V., Vidmar, M., Heavin, C., Machado, H., Todorović, Z., Buzas, N., Pot, M., Prainsack, B., & Gajović, S. (2020, 2021). Face masks during the COVID-19 pandemic: A simple protection tool with many meanings. Frontiers in Public Health, 8, 606635-606635. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2020.606635
  24. Mieth, L., Mayer, M. M., Hoffmann, A., Buchner, A., & Bell, R. (2021). Do they really wash their hands? Prevalence estimates for personal hygiene behaviour during the COVID-19 pandemic based on indirect questions. BMC Public Health, 21(1), 1-8. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-020-10109-5
  25. Ofori, P. (2020). Housing poverty in developing countries: challenges and implications for decent accommodation in Swedru, Ghana. Acta Structilia, 27(2), 57-92. https://doi.org/10.18820/24150487/as27i2.3
  26. Pittet, D. (2001). Improving adherence to hand hygiene practice: a multidisciplinary approach. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 7(2), 234. https://doi.org/10.3201/eid0702.010217
  27. Purushothaman, P. K., Priyangha, E., & Vaidhyswaran, R. (2021). Effects of prolonged use of facemask on healthcare workers in tertiary care hospital during COVID-19 pandemic. Indian Journal of Otolaryngology and Head & Neck Surgery, 73(1), 59-65. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12070-020-02124-0
  28. Rosner, E. (2020). Adverse effects of prolonged mask use among healthcare professionals during COVID-19. Journal of Infectious Diseases of Epidemiology, 6(3), 130. https://doi.org/10.23937/2474-3658/1510130
  29. Spitzer, M. (2020). Masked education? The benefits and burdens of wearing face masks in schools during the current Corona pandemic. Trends in Neuroscience and Education, 20, 100138. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tine.2020.100138
  30. UNICEF. (2020). Handwashing with soap, critical in the fight against coronavirus, is ‘out of reach’ for billions.
  31. Williams, S. N., Armitage, C. J., Tampe, T., & Dienes, K. (2020). Public perceptions and experiences of social distancing and social isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic: A UK-based focus group study. BMJ Open, 10(7), e039334. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2020-039334
  32. World Health Organization (WHO). (2020a). Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Report −10. https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/feature/2020/04/30
  33. World Health Organization (WHO). (2020b). Rational use of personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Interim guidance World Health Organization (No. WHO/2019-nCoV/IPC PPE_use/2020.2).