Since February 2020 we have been deploying tasks through the Premise app to our global network of over 1.8 million users in over 100 countries to measure the changes in their sentiment and behavior regarding this global pandemic. To date, we have collected over 32,000 responses the past 30 days from our Contributors in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), with smaller subsets specifically tied to COVID-19 related themes as noted below.
The DRC’s first confirmed case of COVID-19 did not come until relatively recently on March 10. In comparison, the first confirmed case in Africa came nearly a month prior in Egypt on February 14. Now there are 235 confirmed cases in the DRC according to World Health Organization data, with at least 20 deaths as of today. In response, the government declared a national curfew during overnight hours starting March 31, which was expected to last at least 30 days.
Unsurprisingly, the percentage of Premise Contributors who were “very concerned” about the spread of virus has grown from 27% to nearly 48% since the beginning of March, while the number of respondents who said the virus had a “major effect” on their willingness to be in public more than tripled, jumping from 12% to over 39% by the beginning of April.
When asked, “How strongly do you personally agree with the following statement: “I closely follow the guidance of social distancing,” 31% of respondents since late March said “strongly agree” and 46% said “agree,” while 54% of them saying doing so was “difficult” or “very difficult.” Images we’ve seen coming out of our networks show that some people are not following the social distancing guidelines from the WHO and other public health officials.