Introduction: Non-pharmaceutical measures to facilitate a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a disease caused by novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, are urgently needed. Using the World Health Organization (WHO) health emergency and disaster risk management (health-EDRM) framework, behavioural measures for droplet-borne communicable diseases and their enabling and limiting factors at various implementation levels were evaluated. Sources of data: Keyword search was conducted in PubMed, Google Scholar, Embase, Medline, Science Direct, WHO and CDC online publication databases. Using the Oxford Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine review criteria, 10 bottom-up, non-pharmaceutical prevention measures from 104 English-language articles, which published between January 2000 and May 2020, were identified and examined. Areas of agreement: Evidence-guided behavioural measures against transmission of COVID-19 in global at-risk communities were identified, including regular handwashing, wearing face masks and avoiding crowds and gatherings. Areas of concern: Strong evidence-based systematic behavioural studies for COVID-19 prevention are lacking. Growing points: Very limited research publications are available for non-pharmaceutical measures to facilitate pandemic response. Areas timely for research: Research with strong implementation feasibility that targets resource-poor settings with low baseline health-EDRM capacity is urgently needed.
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