CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1    BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

The coronavirus disease 2019 (covid-19), which was discovered in Wuhan, China, in December 2019, has spread fast to practically every corner of the world Lorfa (2020). The condition is caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2, a novel and severe variant of coronavirus (sarscov-2). The coronavirus has caused not only interruptions in regular socioeconomic activity, but also disease and mortality due to its high contagiousness. Because there is no commonly accepted pharmacological solution,  except for introduction of vaccines, the greatest method of prophylaxis may be preventative measures that counsel against infections and limit illness transmission (Olapegba 2020).

However, though vaccines have been created and distributed, the virus keeps mutating. According to World Health Organization (2021) there have been different variants of the virus with the latest being the omicron variant. On November 24, 2021, the World Health Organization received notification of a new variety of SARS-CoV-2, B.1.1.529 (WHO). This new variety was discovered in specimens taken in Botswana on November 11, 2021, and in South Africa on November 14, 2021 (World Health Organization 2021).

On the suggestion of who’s technical advisory group on virus evolution, WHO recognized the variety b.1.1.529 as a variant of concern, naming it Omicron, on november 26, 2021.  This conclusion was made based on data submitted to the tag-ve indicating omicron has many alterations that may affect how it acts, such as how easy it spreads or the degree of sickness it causes. Researchers in South Africa and throughout the world have and are undertaking research to better understand various facets of Omicron, and the results of these studies will be shared when they become available  (Gilbertson 2021).

It is however unclear if Omicron is more transmissible than other variations, including Delta. The number of persons testing positive for this new variant is alarming and it has triggered reactions from all over the world, with countries imposing travel bans, restricting movements and enacting strict quarantine laws. Precautionary steps are required during the early stages of the variant to guard against potential harm and to limit transmission. As a result, the Nigerian government has implemented some containment methods like compulsory vaccination before travel, testing and quarantine of international visitors and the limitation of travel. This has interfered with people’s everyday lives and resulted in serious economic loss and social disturbance (World Health Organization 2021).

1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

Individuals’ level of awareness about an infectious illness might cause people to behave in ways that may avoid infection, according to studies (Gilbertson 2021). As a result, persons may need to be informed about the possible hazards of this new variant in order to take the necessary precautions.

Given the importance of understanding of preventive measures in preventing the spread of COVID-19 and its variants, it is critical to do study on people’s health knowledge during this time (Gilbertson 2021).

1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

The primary objective of this study is to evaluate public awareness of omicron variant among Nigerian citizens. Other objectives of this study are:

  1. To determine the level of awareness Nigerian citizens are about the omicron variant
  2. To determine the effect this omicron variant has on citizens lifestyle

iii.      To determine the effects of omicron variant on social gathering

  1. To determine the effectiveness of  news sources concerning the omicron variant

1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS

  1. How aware are Nigerian citizens about the omicron variant?
  2. What are the effects of omicron variant on citizens lifestyle?

iii.      What are the effects of omicron variant on social gathering?

  1. How effective are news sources concerning the omicron variant?

1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

This study will be greatly significant to the general public as the findings of this study will show the effects of the omicron variant on citizens lifestyle and social gathering. This study will also be beneficial to the health sector as this study will show the level of awareness the public has about the omicron variant and thus will do more to sensitize the public on the the variant.

1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY

This study will be focused on the evaluation of public awareness on omicron variant among Nigerian citizens. This study will further be focused on the level of awareness of Nigerians about the omicron variant, the effects it has on lifestyle and social gathering.

This study will be using selected residents of Ikeja LGA of Lagos State as enrolled participants for this study.

1.7 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY

This study will be limited to the evaluation of public awareness on omicron variant among Nigerian citizens. This study will further be limited to the level of awareness of Nigerians about the omicron variant, the effects it has on lifestyle and social gathering.

In the course of carrying out this study, the researcher experienced some constraints, which included time constraints, financial constraints, language barriers, and the attitude of the respondents. However, the researcher were able to manage these just to ensure the success of this study.

1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS

Evaluation: the making of a judgement about the amount, number, or value of something; assessment.

Public awareness:  is the public’s level of understanding about the importance and implications of something

Omicron variant: The Omicron variant is a variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. It was first reported to the World Health Organization from South Africa on 24 November 2021. On 26 November 2021, the WHO designated it as a variant of concern and named it after omicron, the fifteenth letter in the Greek alphabet.

REFERENCES

Dawn Gilbertson (2021): The omicron variant has sparked new travel restrictions. Are more COVID rules ahead?. Accessed from: https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/airline-news/2021/11/26/covid-travel-restrictions-omicron-white-house-ban-africa/8764805002/

  1. O. Olapegba (2020) COVID-19 Knowledge and Perceptions in Nigeria

Stephen K. Lorfa (2020) COVID-19 Knowledge, Risk Perception, and Precautionary Behavior Among Nigerians: A Moderated Mediation Approach

World Health Organization (2021). Update on Omicron.

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