A survey conducted by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) has found that 93.2% of respondents are very concerned or extremely concerned about the possible economic collapse of the country owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.
This while 60.1% of respondents are very concerned or extremely concerned about the impact of Covid-19 on their own health. A further 79.7% of respondents are concerned about the civil disorder that may result as a consequence of the virus.
Stats SA conducted the survey from April 13 to 26, with nearly 4 000 responses received.
The survey finds that respondents have adhered to the call not to go out to public meetings, with 99% of respondents reporting not attending any public events, including church services.
A further 98.4% of people practice social distancing when they go out for essentials, and 97.7% of respondents wash their hands when going out and upon returning.
A majority (96.8%) of respondents say they have not been tested for Covid-19, since they did not believe they are infected.
Of those respondents who suspected that they may have been infected, 75.8% have not gotten tested. About 8% of respondents do not know where to get tested, while 6.8% do not have money to get to testing facilities.
Stats SA says the survey findings show that knowledge about the main signs and symptoms of Covid-19 is almost universal, while knowledge about the two main means of its transmission is also high.
Further, the survey shows that 14.3% of its respondents have a chronic condition, and of these, 7.8% have not been able to access their chronic medication. About 45% of this group says they are scared they would be infected when going out, while 37% of this group are scared of being arrested or fined.
The balance of the people who remain without their chronic medication did not have money to get to pharmacies or clinics to obtain medicines.
The survey finds that news outlets are the main source of information for respondents, with 64% of them obtaining information this way, followed by social media as the second most frequently used means of obtaining information on current public health measures and Covid-19.
According to the findings on self-reported employment, two-thirds, or 69.1%, of respondents have a full-time job, 11.6% of respondents are self-employed, while 8.1% are unemployed.
Stats SA notes that, by far, most respondents, or 92%, reside in formal dwellings: either a free-standing house, townhouse or a cluster house (81.6%), or in a flat or apartment in a block of flats (12.6%).
Less than one per cent, or 0.9%, live in an informal dwelling.
This survey was the first round of surveys that the research agency planned to undertake.
The first round focused on health-related aspects in terms of behaviour, knowledge and perceptions around Covid-19.
The second survey will investigate the impact of the pandemic on employment, income and expenditure, while a third survey will report in the impact of Covid-19 on education and time use of households.