Even though Nigeria has confirmed twelve positive cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) within its borders, some Nigerians are not concerned about being infected by the pandemic sweeping the world.
In a poll conducted by NOI Polls and published on Wednesday, March 18, 2020, 26% of respondents believe they are immune to the virus for one reason or the other.
Of the 26%, almost half (40%) believe they’re immune because of their religious belief (“I am a child of God”), while 30% believe that they have strong genes to repel the virus.
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17% of this group hold the widely-debunked belief that Nigeria’s weather is too hot for the virus to survive, while another 8% believe that the strong herbs they consume is enough to prevent infection.
The remaining 5% hold another widely-debunked belief that the virus does not affect Africans, so they’re safe.
The poll was conducted in the week commencing March 9, 2020, when Nigeria still had two confirmed cases.
According to NOI Polls, the poll involved telephone interviews of a proportionate nationwide sample of 1,000 randomly selected phone-owning Nigerians aged 18 years and above, representing the six geo-political regions and 36 states and the FCT.
“Interviews were conducted in 5 languages – Igbo, Hausa, Yoruba, Pidgin English and English.
“With this sample size and selection, we are 95% confident that the results obtained are statistically precise within a margin of error of plus or minus 4.65%,” the organisation noted.
The poll revealed that a vast proportion of Nigerians (84%) are aware of COVID-19 and this cuts across gender, geographical location and age-group with at least 73% representation.
While 63% of respondents disclosed that they are concerned that they may contract the virus, the poll revealed that 50% of Nigerians do not have information on preventive measure against the virus.
NOI Polls also noted that a vast majority of Nigerians (97%) disclosed that they would be willing to report and be tested (97%) if they show any sign of COVID-19, as well as willing to be quarantined (97%) if they are at risk of spreading the virus disease.
Nigeria currently has 7 confirmed cases in total, all of them with a history of travel from Italy, the United States, and the United Kingdom.
Another person that previously tested positive last week later tested negative and was discharged days later. No deaths have been recorded in the country.
Since coronavirus was first detected in Wuhan, China in December, over 200,000 people have been infected, and at least 8,000 killed around the world. More than 82,000 people have also recovered from the virus.