Public precaution awareness: a case study from Google search trend during Covid-19 outbreak in Indonesia

Erna Rochmawati


Objective: The global outbreak of COVID-19 is emerged recently and this poses stress on health and well-being of the people in the worldwide  including in Indonesia. Public interest in this new issue largely reflects people’s attention to COVID-19 and their willingness to take precautionary actions. This study aimed to examine public awareness on the prevention of COVID-19 using Google Trend (GT) . 

Methods: Using GT, we retrieved public query data for the term of (coronavirus, handwashing, hand sanitizer and facemask) between 12 December 2019 and 4 April 2020 in the specific locations of Indonesia nationwide and several provinces. The correlation between daily search volumes on the topic related to COVID-19 and the daily number of people infected with COVID-19 was analyzed.

Results: Our studies observed the overall search trend of RSV regarding COVID-19 after  the global outbreak and the announcement of first covid-19 case in Indonesia, the search  related to COVID-19,  and other defined terms in Indonesia increased rapidly. In addition, search related to face mask were gradually increased. Searches for face mask and hand sanitizer is more popular than handwashing. There is a positive correlation between daily RSV on  COVID-19 and other defined terms and the daily number of people infected with  COVID-19 nationwide ( p <0·05). There are various interest to RSV related to COVID-19, and public awareness of COVID-19 was almost similar in some provinces, particularly searches related to facemask and hand sanitizer.   

Conclusion: Our findings demonstrates that GT could potentially define the proper  timing and location for practicing appropriate risk communication strategies to prevent the spread of emerging disease. The study demonstrates that government should strengthen the publicity of COVID- 19 nationally, reinforce the public's awareness on the prevention  of  COVID-19 and finally  inform  the importance of protecting individuals with appropriate  and affordable precautionary measures.




World Health Organization (2020). Coronavirus (Covid-19) disease outbreak. 2019/situation-reports/ Accessed 29 March 2020.

Liu, J., Liao, X., Qian, S., Yuan, J., Wang, F., Liu, Y., et al. (2020). Community transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, Shenzhen, China, 2020. Emerg Infect Dis,

Choi, K. R., Skrine Jeffers, K., & Logsdon, M. C. (2020). Nursing and the Novel Coronavirus: Risks and Responsibilities in a Global Outbreak. Journal of Advanced Nursing, n/a(n/a), doi:10.1111/jan.14369.

World Health Organization (2020). Advice on the use of masks in the community, during home care, and in health care settings in the context of COVID-19. In World Health Organization (Ed.).

Hayward, A., Beale, S., Johnson, A. M., Zambon, M., & Fragaszy, E. B. (2020). Hand and Respiratory Hygiene Practices and the Risk and Transmission of Human Coronavirus Infections in a UK Community Cohort The Lancet, doi: or

Nuti, S. V., Wayda, B., Ranasinghe, I., Wang, S., Dreyer, R. P., Chen, S. I., et al. (2014). The Use of Google Trends in Health Care Research: A Systematic Review. PLOS ONE, 9(10), e109583, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0109583.

Schootman, M., Toor, A., Cavazos-Rehg, P., Jeffe, D. B., McQueen, A., Eberth, J., et al. (2015). The utility of Google Trends data to examine interest in cancer screening. BMJ Open, 5(6), e006678, doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2014-006678.

Hu, D., Lou, X., Xu, Z., Meng, N., Xie, Q., Zhang, M., et al. (2020). More effective strategies are required to strengthen public awareness of COVID-19: evidence from Google Trends. The Lancet, doi:

Ministry of Health (2020). Situasi terkini perkembangan novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) (Current update on Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). Accessed 7 April 2020 2020.

Strzelecki, A. (2020). Infodemiological study using Google Trends on Coronavirus epidemic in Wuhan, China. arZiv.

Husnayain, A., Fuad, A., & Su, E.-Y. (2020). Applications of google search trends for risk communication in infectious disease management: A case study of COVID-19 outbreak in Taiwan. International Journal of Infectious Disease, doi:

Keller, M., Blench, M., Tolentino, H., Freifeld, C. C., Mandl, K. D., & Mawudeku, A. (2019). Use of unstructured event-based reports for global infectious disease surveillance. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 15(5), 689-695.

CDC (2020). Use of Cloth Face Coverings to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19. Accessed 8 April 2020.

World Health Organization (2020). Risk communication and community engagement (RCCE) readiness and response to the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCov). Accessed 8 April 2020.

Toppenberg-Pejcic, D., Noyes, J., Allen, T., Alexander, N., Vanderford, M., & Gamhewage, G. (2019). Emergency Risk Communication: Lessons Learned from a Rapid Review of Recent Gray Literature on Ebola, Zika, and Yellow Fever. Health Communication, 34(4), 437-455, doi:10.1080/10410236.2017.1405488.

Lin, L., McCloud, R. F., Bigman, C. A., & Viswanath, K. (2017). Tuning in and catching on? Examining the relationship between pandemic communication and awareness and knowledge of MERS in the USA. J Public Health (Oxf), 39(2), 282-289, doi:10.1093/pubmed/fdw028.

Total views : 38 times


  • There are currently no refbacks.

International Journal of Public Health Science (IJPHS)
p-ISSN: 2252-8806, e-ISSN: 2620-4126

View IJPHS Stats

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.