Themes, Belief Statements, and Illustrative Rumors About COVID-19 in Côte d'Ivoire, March to August 2020

Overarching ThemeAssociated Belief StatementsIllustrative Rumors
Denial of the reality of the virus and case estimatesCOVID-19 does not exist.
The government is overestimating case numbers for financial gain.
The government is hiding cases for political reasons.
The number of people infected by coronavirus is purely a political calculation. —CC, Bouaké, April 9, 2020
They say that the government is increasing the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in order to benefit from the money that the WHO is dispersing for the countries that have coronavirus. —CC, Abidjan, April 13, 2020
Coronavirus never existed in Côte d'Ivoire —CC, Bouaké, August 28, 2020
Origin and evolution of the pandemicCOVID-19 was created in a laboratory.
COVID-19 is being intentionally spread to kill people.
COVID-19 is over.
Coronavirus is made up of a group of viruses that were created in a laboratory —CC, Bouaké, June 25, 2020
COVID-19 was created intentionally for harm. —CC, Bouaké, July 13, 2020
Currently, the danger is not present anymore, and they continue to instill an irrational fear. —CC, Bouaké, August 28, 2020
Recommended public health measuresRecommended measures do not work or are dangerous.
It is dangerous or useless to seek testing or treatment for COVID-19.
Masks are infected with COVID-19. Use the ones that are created locally. —CC, Abidjan, April 14, 2020
They say that the COVID-19 testing lefts are the places that transmit the illness —Hotline caller, Koumassi Port-Bouet Vridi, May 5, 2020
Vaccine development and useA dangerous COVID-19 vaccine is disguised as a routine vaccine.
A COVID-19 vaccine is designed to infect or kill the population.
The state will force us to get vaccinated.
There's a vaccine that transmits COVID-19, when you want to kill yourself, they inject you with the virus, you suffer, and after that you die. —CC, Bouaké, July 5, 2020
Alternative prevention and treatment methodsCertain food or drinks will prevent or cure COVID-19.
Washing in a certain way prevents or cures COVID-19.
Certain medications prevent or treat COVID-19.
Sex cures COVID-19.
There is a new cure that is hidden from the population.
Have sex constantly to kill coronavirus. —CC, Bouaké, March 16, 2020
It is said that the government says to eat everything that is hot and wash with hot water because it cures coronavirus. —Hotline caller, Grand-Lahou, April 29, 2020
They say that in Italy, the remedy against coronavirus has finally been found. —CC, Abidjan, May 22, 2020
Drinking cucumber water every morning is very effective for eliminating the COVID-19 virus. —CC, Bouaké, July 7, 2020
The medicine (remdesivir) existed before corona, they created their virus and also the medicine all this for money earned through the death of thousands of people. The world is fucked up. —CC, Bouaké, July 7, 2020
Perceived risk or susceptibilityCOVID-19 does not kill or affect certain people (e.g., age, blood type, economic status).
COVID-19 does not kill or affect Africans or Black people.
The coronavirus cannot catch a Black African because of his Black skin. —CC, Abidjan, March 9, 2020
The genetic composition of African blood resists coronavirus. —CC, Bouaké, March 12, 2020
Coronavirus doesn't kill children, but the virus attacks people who are very old and kills them. —CC, Bouaké, July 7, 2020
Perceived severity and symptoms of the illnessClosures and the economic effects of the pandemic are worse than the virus itself.
COVID-19 has weakened or is no longer a threat.
Coronavirus kills faster than Ebola. —Hotline caller, Yopougon-Ouest-Songon District, May 4, 2020
Malaria is so much worse than COVID-19 in terms of mortality. —CC, Bouaké, July 5, 2020
Patients that survive COVID-19 always suffer from cardiac problems. —CC, Bouaké, July 5, 2020
One patient out of 20 will feel the symptoms of the illness again one month, even nearly 3 months after the first appearance of symptoms. —CC, Bouaké, July 7, 2020
  • Abbreviation: CC, community contributor; COVID-19, coronavirus disease.