Life as we know it is no longer the same. We have all been impacted by drastic changes in our daily routines. What is really going on? How challenging is this new lifestyle? Are all these sacrifices worth it?
The coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19) which started in December 2019, was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) in March 2020. So far it has infected over 697,000 people and claimed the lives of over 33,000 in about 204 countries (30th March 2020, WHO).
Due to its high rate of human-to-human transmission and in the absence of effective treatments or vaccines, the WHO has strongly recommended countries to implement interventions to curb the rapid spread of COVID-19 through minimizing contact between infected and uninfected persons. Suggested measures include lockdowns, closing schools and public places, rigorous personal hygiene and social distancing.
To contribute to the fight against COVID-19, researchers at the University of Antwerp launch the International Citizen Project Covid-19 (ICPcovid) in a bid to evaluate how well these measures are followed by the general population. As of March 30th 2020, 19 countries are on board (Brazil, Burundi, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, Gambia, Ghana, India, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Peru, South Africa, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Uganda, Vietnam and Zambia) and we are open to collaborating with many other countries.
Key points to note about this study include:
- Residents in different countries will be asked to voluntarily fill an online questionnaire through the secure study website: icpcovid.com
- Only basic and non-confidential information will be obtained, to evaluate how well the population follows the measures put in place by their health authorities
- Information will be collected at regular time intervals to monitor possible changes in behavior
- The findings will be communicated to health authorities so that targeted interventions can be developed and implemented. The results will help us to identify the best strategies to cope with this epidemic and to better prepare for future outbreaks.
How can you help?
- Honestly fill in the questionnaire
- Spread to your contacts
- Stay safe and respect the preventive measures put in place by the WHO
Together we can beat COVID-19!
#StaySafe #StayHome #WashHands #SocialDistancing
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