Tweets Reach of an Online COVID-19 Restriction Measures Campaigns. Kenya, Nigeria, and Rwanda.

posted Oct 31 2020

A pandemic is controlled by various measures, including Vaccination (which operates by reducing the number of susceptible individuals in the population), and combination of measures operate to reduce the number of infected individuals freely mixing in the population (such as Quarantining, lockdown, and curfew) (World Health Organization 2018).

During the COVID-19 pandemic, in absence of an active vaccine, government health officials have been reminding the citizens of the critical importance of complying with health measures of preventing the transmission of coronavirus. When it comes to health campaigns, social media platforms including Twitter have been observed to be an effective method to encourage the general public(Gemma Potts, 2019). Influential people and institutions tweet (communicate) their opinions and ideas on events and current affairs without barriers.

The Research team at CcHUB design Lab has been collecting data from twitter as one of the top social media platforms to analyse the effectiveness of health campaigning during the COVID-19 pandemic. The tweets retrieval began  from 27 February 2020, 12 March 2020 and 14 March 2020 for Nigeria, Kenya and Rwanda respectively when they reported their first COVID-19 cases.

  • A total of 14,873 tweets were collected from 10,511 accounts for all the 3 countries.
  • The total number of Twitter accounts that have reacted to tweets about COVID-19 restriction measures in the 3 countries so far is 253,630.
  • On average the estimated twitter accounts that have been reached by a single tweet is 17 in Kenya, 16.5 in Nigeria and 15.4 in Rwanda.

From mid-March to end April, the twitter community showed interest in tweeting about COVID-19 restriction measures, this was the time most African countries were trying different measures to quell the spread of COVID-19. For instance Rwanda introduced a total lockdown because of the coronavirus (the first country in sub-saharan africa countries), kenya was promoting self quarantine for passengers and Nigeria began a gradual easing of lockdown restrictions to curtail the spread of the coronavirus in the capital, Lagos, Abuja and Ogun States.

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