Journal of Environmental Treatment Techniques  
2021, Volume 9, Issue 1, Pages: 264-267  
J. Environ. Treat. Tech.  
ISSN: 2309-1185  
Journal web link: http://www.jett.dormaj.com  
https://doi.org/10.47277/JETT/9(1)267  
Effects of Social Distancing in Reducing the Spread  
of COVID-19 Pandemic: A Perspective of Bayelsan  
Residents in Nigeria  
1
2
2
Ebibodere K. Baulch , Godwin P. Angaye *, Edmund D. Patani  
1
Department of Haematology and Immunology, Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island, Bayelsa State, Nigeria  
2
Department of Biology, Bayelsa Medical University, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State  
Received: 06/09/2020  
Accepted: 13/11/2020  
Published: 20/03/2021  
Abstract  
This research work essentially explored the efficacy of social distancing in reducing the spread of corona virus disease (COVID-19)  
in Yenagoa metropolis. The objectives of this study were to examine the level of coronavirus disease and investigate whether social  
distancing have help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in Bayelsa State, Nigeria. The research design used for this study is survey, the  
population targeted for this study consists of residents of Yenagoa. Four hundred (400) residents were used as sample size and cluster  
sampling technique was applied. Instrument used for this study is the questionnaire. Results showed that the level of coronavirus disease  
in Yenagoa metropolis was below average, and around 70% of respondents strongly agreed that social distancing can help reduce the  
spread of COVID-19. Following these findings, it is recommended that social distancing and other aseptic measures should be ensured.  
The study concludes that social distancing can help reduce the spread of COVID-19.  
Keywords: COVID-19, Social distancing, Coronavirus, Pandemic, Bayelsa State, Nigeria  
1
Social distancing has been adopted as one of the key  
1
Introduction  
strategies and Government policy in reducing the spread of  
COVID-19. The policy involves limiting person to person  
contact, avoidance of hand shake, public gathering,  
maintaining distancing not less than 1.5 meters and even  
restriction of movement like lockdown, quarantining or curfew  
as the case may be [8]. Although, these public health  
restrictions have had a significant adverse socio-economic  
impact on the populace [9, 10]. The efficacies of this social  
restrictions are usually not adhered to or criticized in some  
quota. Notwithstanding, the global impact of the pandemic  
have been worrisome amidst some non-compliant critics.  
Therefore, it has become necessary to sample the opinion of the  
populace on the efficacies of social distancing in reducing the  
spread of covid-19.  
The first discovery of coronavirus, was the avian infectious  
bronchitis virus in 1973, which was isolated by a virologist  
called Fred Beaudette in 1937 [1]. This was followed in 2002  
by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus  
(
SARSCoV), and Middle East respiratory syndrome  
coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in the year 2012. In the year 2019 a  
new strain of the SAR Coronavirus (COVIS-19) was  
discovered in Wuhan, China. The global mobidity and  
mortality burden of the disease have been so overwhelming  
with over 400,000 cases and 20 000 mortalities from 194  
countries [1, 2]. As documented in literature, Coronaviruses  
(
CoVs) are positive-sensed single-stranded RNA viruses  
belonging to the order Nidovirales, family Coronaviridae,  
subfamily Orthocoronavirinae and four genera known as:  
alpha, beta, delta, and gamma coronaviruses.  
Furthermore, Alpha CoVs and beta CoVs originated from  
bats and rodents while delta CoVs and gamma CoVs have their  
origins from avian species [3]. The biggest threat of the  
COVID-19 disease is the infectious nature, rapid spread and  
grave health risk it poses, especially to persons of extreme ages  
and underlining medical condition. COVID-19 virus primarily  
spreads from person to person through direct contact with an  
infected person [2]. Viral droplets are airborne and can be  
released from the mouth or nose when an infected person when  
he coughs or sneezes [4  6]. The virus can also spread when a  
person touches a surface or object that has the virus on it and  
then touches their mouth nose or mouth [7]. Recent studies  
have shown that virus may remain in surfaces or objects for up  
to 72 hours [2].  
2 Materials and Method  
2.1 Research Design  
The study adopt survey as the research tool to provide  
information on which decisions were made. The data were  
sourced when by determining the answers to predetermined  
from the respondents. This method offers opportunity for the  
collation of facts from a wide range of respondents without  
much expense. The use of survey is a favourable because it is  
accurate, unstructured and can also capture time change.  
2.2 Sampling Size and Techniques  
The population included randomly selected residents of  
Yenagoa metropolis in Bayelsa State, Nigeria. The sample size  
consists of 400 residents from the study population. The sample  
*
Corresponding author: Godwin P. Angaye, Department of Biology, Bayelsa Medical University, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State. E-mail:  
maktarry@yahoo.com  
264  
Journal of Environmental Treatment Techniques  
2021, Volume 9, Issue 1, Pages: 264-267  
form a good representation of the population. This sample size  
was used in order to generate a valid data from the population.  
The cluster sampling technique was applied in splitting the  
population into groups each of which may still contain  
heterogeneous elements. Through random probability  
sampling, a sample is then picked from each cluster in  
accordance with the sampling plan, a simple random sampling  
is used.  
amongst the respondents were divorcee and widow/widower.  
70  
60  
50  
40  
30  
20  
10  
0
58.76  
41.24  
2
.3 Instrument for Data Collection  
The instrument used for this study is the questionnaire. The  
questionnaire consists of open and close ended questions to  
guide the respondents in answering the questions it is relatively  
easy to analyse. The format is familiar to most respondents to  
think about their answers as they are not usually required to  
reply immediately.  
Male (161)  
Female (227)  
2
.4 Method of Data Collection  
Data collected for this study were collected primarily with a  
Figure 1: Sex of Respondents  
self-administered questionnaire to the respondents, which was  
retrieved from them after sampling. The instrument was  
administered to 400 randomly selected residents in the study  
area, so as to prevent the problem of bias.  
Table 1: Age distribution of Respondents  
Age Brackets  
No. of respondent  
Percentage (%)  
2
3
4
0  29  
0  29  
0  49  
199  
111  
49  
49.22  
38.54  
2
.5 Validity/Reliability of Instrument  
To ascertain the validity of the instrument, content validity  
17.01  
was adopted. The Content validity in most cases is measured  
by relying on the knowledge of people who are conversant with  
the concept being measured. A pilot was carried out to evaluate  
the internal consistency of the instrument and this study took  
place at selected areas which is outside the study area. A total  
of thirty (30) respondents made up of male and female outside  
the sample size (7.5% of the total sample size) were involved  
in responding to the instrument due to their accessibility to  
Bayelsa state.  
Above 50  
Total  
29  
7.47  
388  
100.00  
Table 2: Marital Status of Respondents  
Marital Status  
No. of respondent  
Percentage (%)  
Single  
245  
103  
11  
63.14  
Married  
26.55  
Divorcee  
2.84  
Widow/Widower  
Total  
7
2.43  
2
.6 Method of Data Analysis  
The results of the data collected were collated and  
388  
100.0  
statistically analysed using simple percentage to find out the  
extent of variation. Results were presented in tables and charts  
to summarise the revealed facts, and to present them in such a  
way that all the imported factors as contained.  
98.19  
100  
9
8
7
6
50  
40  
0
0
0
0
3
Result and Discussion  
A total of 400 copies of questionnaire were administered in  
the area under study and 388 copies were retrieved from the  
respondents. This represents 97% return rate. The demographic  
characteristics of the Respondents is presented in Figure 4.1.  
The response to Table 1 shows that 161 respondents  
representing 41.24% were male, while 227 respondents  
representing 58.76% were female (Figure 1). This shows that  
the female responded more to the questionnaire than the male.  
Result presented in Table 4.1 below reveals that 191  
respondents representing 49.22% were within the age brackets  
of 20  29, another 111 respondents representing 38.54% fell  
between the age bracket of 30 39, 49 respondents representing  
30  
20  
10  
0
1.81  
Yes (381)  
No (7)  
Figure 2: Respondents views on awareness of COVID-19  
1
7.01% fell with the age brackets of 40 49 and 29 respondents  
representing 7.47% had age bracket above 50 years (Table 1).  
The result presented in Table 2 below for marital status of the  
respondents showed that 245 respondents representing 63.14%  
were single, 103 respondents representing 26.55% were  
married, 11 respondents representing 2.84% was a divorcee,  
while 7 respondents representing 2.43% were reported to be  
either a widows or widowers. This result indicates that the  
single respondents were above 50%, while least (<1.00%)  
The awareness level of coronavirus disease in Yenagoa was  
investigated (Figure 2). Result shows that 381 respondents  
representing 98.19 % of the agreed that they have heard of  
coronavirus disease, while the disease is still unknown to 7  
respondents representing 1.81%. This is an indication most of  
the populace are aware of the COVID-19. The source of  
information on COVID-19 was investigated (Figure 3), and the  
response rate showed that 143 respondents representing  
265  
Journal of Environmental Treatment Techniques  
2021, Volume 9, Issue 1, Pages: 264-267  
3
1
6.86% said that they heard of COVID-19 through television,  
19 respondents representing 30.67% said that they heard of  
Respondent views on how social distancing will help  
reduce the spread of COVID-19 in Nigeria is presented in  
Figure 4. The response shows that out of 388 respondents, 384  
of them representing 98.96% agreed that they have heard of  
Social distancing as a means of reducing the spread of the  
COVID-19 pandemic, while only 4 respondents representing  
COVID-19 from the radio, 118 respondents representing  
0.41% said that they heard of COVID-19 through the social  
3
media, while 8 respondents representing 2.06% said that they  
heard of COVID-19 through other means (Figure 3).  
1
1
.04% opined that social distancing cannot reduce the COVID-  
9 pandemic (Figure 4). Based on the outcome of the result the  
3
3
0.41,  
0%  
3
3
6.86,  
7%  
mantra of social distancing in reducing the spread of COVID-  
19 have become a mainstay.  
The result on if social distancing can help reduce the spread  
of COVID-19 shows that 274 respondents representing  
7
0.62% of the agreed that Social distancing can help reduce the  
spread of COVID-19 in Yenagoa, 89 respondents representing  
2.94% of the respondent agreed that social distancing and  
2
Social distancing can help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in  
Nigeria, 16 respondents representing 5.56% of the respondent  
disagreed that social distancing and Social distancing can help  
reduce the spread of COVID-19 in Nigeria, while 9 respondents  
representing 2.32% strongly disagreed that social distancing  
and Social distancing can help reduce the spread of COVID-19  
in Yenagoa. This result implies that social distancing can help  
reduce the spread of COVID-19 in Nigeria.  
Prior to this study, two research questions were developed to  
direct the course of this study. Also, the questions in the  
questionnaire were designed in a way that it tallies with the  
research question and at this point, the research questions of the  
study have been tested in relation to the responses of the  
respondents to the relevant questions on the questionnaire. The  
respondents 150 (38.66%) agreed that the level of coronavirus  
disease in Yenagoa serious, 146 (37.63%) respondents opined  
that the level of coronavirus disease in Nigeria was normal, 73  
3
3
0.76,  
1%  
Radio (143)  
Social Media (118)  
Television (119)  
Others (8)  
Figure 3: Respondents source of Information  
Table 3: Respondents views on COVID-19 rate in Bayelsa  
Ratings  
No. of respondent Percentage  
Serious  
Normal  
Average  
Mild  
150  
146  
73  
38.66%  
37.63%  
18.81%  
4.90%  
19  
Total  
388  
100.00%  
(
18.81%) of the respondents said that the level of coronavirus  
As presented in Table 3, the response shows that 150  
respondents representing 38.66% opined that the level of  
coronavirus disease in Bayelsa as compared to other states of  
the Nigeria is serious, 146 respondents representing 37.63%  
said that the level of coronavirus disease in Bayelsa is  
comparable to other states is normal, 73 respondents  
representing 18.81% of the respondents said that the level of  
coronavirus disease in Bayelsa was average compared to other  
states, while 19 respondents representing 4.90% of the  
respondents said that the level of coronavirus disease in  
Bayelsa was mild compared to other states. This means that the  
level of coronavirus disease in Bayelsa is comparable to other  
states in Nigeria (Table 3).  
disease in Yenagoa was average, and 19 (4.90%) of the  
respondents said that the level of coronavirus disease in Nigeria  
was mild.  
This means that the level of coronavirus disease in Bayelsa  
is comparable to other states. This is consistent with the  
findings of Ugochukwu et al. (2015) which revealed that the  
epidemic resulted in increased knowledge of the disease as well  
as some misconceptions, increase in household and community  
hygiene practice and change in social interaction between  
affected individuals and the community. Prompt response by  
the government, with the support of international partners and  
proactive engagement of public health measures resulted in the  
rapid control of the epidemic; an experience the country hopes  
to leverage upon in subsequent epidemics. This goes in line  
with the infectious disease transmission mechanism theory  
which assumes that infectious disease dynamics consist of  
transmission as the main dynamic disease process at each  
hierarchical level. The second research question was answered  
in Table 4. Table 4 showed that 274 (70.62%) respondents  
strongly agreed that social distancing can help reduce the  
spread of COVID-19 in Yenagoa, 89 (22.94%) of the  
respondents agreed that social distancing can help reduce the  
spread of COVID-19, 16 (4.12%) of the respondent disagreed  
that social distancing can help reduce the spread of COVID-19,  
while another 9 (3.13%) of the respondents strongly disagreed  
that social distancing can help reduce the spread of COVID-19.  
This implies that social distancing can help reduce the spread  
of COVID-19 in Nigeria. This is consistent with the findings of  
Ugochukwu et al. [10] which revealed that the epidemic  
resulted in increased knowledge of the disease as well as some  
misconceptions, increase in household and community hygiene  
practice and change in social interaction between affected  
individuals and the community.  
Yes (384)  
No (4)  
Figure 4: Respondent view on whether they have heard of social  
distancing as a means of reducing COVID-19  
266  
Journal of Environmental Treatment Techniques  
2021, Volume 9, Issue 1, Pages: 264-267  
Prompt response by the government, with the support of  
international partners and proactive engagement of public  
health measures resulted in the rapid control of the epidemic;  
an experience the country hopes to leverage upon in subsequent  
epidemics. This is in line with the infectious disease  
transmission mechanism theory. These models have been used  
to aid understanding of infectious disease transmission  
dynamics and increase our capabilities for control of infectious  
diseases with fewer resources.  
7
Johnson, C. Y.; Sun, L.; Freedman, A. (2020). "Social distancing  
could buy U.S. valuable time against coronavirus: It's a make-or-  
break moment with coronavirus to test one of the most basicbut  
disruptivepublic health tools". The Washington Post. Archived  
from the original on 2020-03-27. Retrieved 2020-03-11.  
Hensley, L. (2020). "Social distancing is out, physical distancing  
is inhere's how to do it". Global News. Corus Entertainment Inc.  
Archived from the original on 2020-03-27. Retrieved 2020-03-29.  
Centers for Disease Control-CDC (2016) "Infection Control:  
Frequently Asked Questions Hand Hygiene". Centers for Disease  
Control and Prevention. Retrieved 30 September 2016.  
8
9
1
0
Ugochukwu, U. O., Uchechi, C. E., Chuku, A., & Huldah, I. N.  
4
Conclusions  
This study has underscored the efficacy of social distancing  
(2015). Ebola epidemic - the Nigerian experience. The Pan African  
Medical Journal. 2015;22 (Supp 1), 17.  
in reducing the spread of COVID-19 disease in Bayelsa State,  
Nigeria. Findings from this research uncovered that the  
infectious epidemic has great socioeconomic effect on the  
populace, and although that social distancing was found to have  
efficacy in reducing the spread of the disease. Beyond the  
public health impact, the pandemic has socioeconomic  
consequences that needs prompt palliative measures. Prompt  
response by the government, and health care providers needs to  
be proactive to ensure rapid control of the epidemic.  
Aknowledgment  
The authors wish to than Dr. Tariwari Angaye for the  
experimental design and editorial inputs to review this article.  
Ethical issue  
Authors are aware of, and comply with, best practice in  
publication ethics specifically with regard to authorship  
(
avoidance of guest authorship), dual submission, manipulation  
of figures, competing interests and compliance with policies on  
research ethics. Authors adhere to publication requirements  
that submitted work is original and has not been published  
elsewhere in any language.  
Competing interests  
The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest that  
would prejudice the impartiality of this scientific work.  
Authors’ contribution  
All authors of this study have a complete contribution for  
data collection, data analyses and manuscript writing.  
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