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Community responses to COVID-19 pandemic first wave containment measures: a multinational study.



National strategies to control COVID-19 pandemic consisted mostly of social distancing measures such as lockdowns, curfews, and stay-home guidelines, personal protection such as hand hygiene and mask wearing, as well as contact tracing, isolation and quarantine. Whilst policy interventions were broadly similar across the globe, there were some differences in individual and community responses. This study explored community responses to COVID-19 containment measures in different countries and synthesized a model. This exaplains the community response to pandemic containment measures in the local context, so as to be suitably prepared for future interventions and research.


A mutlinational study was conducted from April-June 2020 involving researchers from 12 countries (Japan, Austria, U.S., Taiwan, India, Sudan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Myanmar, Vietnam and Thailand). Steps in this research consisted of carrying out open-ended questionnaires, qualitative analyses in NVivo, and a multinational meeting to reflect, exchange, and validate results. Lastly, a commuinty response model was synthesized from multinational experiences.


Effective communication is key in promoting collective action for preventing virus transmission. Health literacy, habits and social norms in different populations are core components of public health interventions. To enable people to stay home while sustaining livelihoods, economic and social support are essential. Countries could benefit from previous pandemic experience in their community response. Whilst contact tracing and isolation are crucial intervention components, issues of privacy and human rights need to be considered.


Understanding community responses to containment policies will help in ending current and future pandemics in the world.

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