Document Type



Introduction: government measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic cannot be effective without widespread compliance by the public. A greater understanding of citizens' perceptions of these measures can help government agencies adapt their strategies to boost compliance. We examined citizens' perceptions of government's measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic and its implications on compliance using data from Onitsha city, Anambra State Nigeria.

Methods: data was obtained through in-person interviews of 140 consenting adults in March 2020. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to summarize the data.

Results: most participants (84.7%) doubted government's ability to manage the COVID-19 outbreak, raising concerns about ineffective governance (25.7%) and inadequate health facilities (20.7%). However, participants expressed a favorable perception of school closures (92.3%) and a ban on large gatherings (83.9%), driven mostly by the need to contain the COVID-19 and avoid its spread. But, they were generally indifferent about the closure of the markets and workplaces due to concerns for food insecurity and lack of government's relief programs. Participants who had a positive perception of the ban on large gatherings were more likely to have high knowledge and to adopt good COVID-19 preventive practices.

Conclusion: the study showed a lack of public's confidence in the government's ability to manage the pandemic. This provides an opportunity for the city government and the public to reflect on the existing relationships, build mutual trust, and devise collaborative engagement that will boost compliance and help contain the devastating impact of COVID-19 pandemic.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


©Ismaeel Yunusa et al. Pan African Medical Journal (ISSN: 1937-8688). This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution International 4.0 License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

APA Citation

Yunusa, I., Iloanusi, S., Mgbere, O., Iloanusi, N.-J. R., Ajayi, A. I., & Essien, E. J. (2021). Public opinion regarding government response to COVID-19: Case study of a large commercial city in Nigeria. Pan African Medical Journal, 38.