More than two-thirds of people surveyed in as much as 20 countries in Africa said that it would be likely that they would run out of food and water if they had to stay at home under lockdown.
Just over half of the people who responded said that they would run out of money.
The research carried out by The African Centre for Disease and Prevention was conducted to help governments to map out further policies on how to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.
It warns that if no measures are adapted to local needs, there is a high risk of unrest, rebellion and violence.
The research was conducted in 28 cities in 20 countries to assess the impact of the life-some areas.
Several African countries which had responded swiftly to the coronavirus threat are now easing restrictions.
The report said; ‘The proliferation of peaceful protests demanding government relief is evidence of the strain that some people are already under and highlights gaps in current responses.’
It did, however, find that there was currently general support for restrictions that had been put in place.
Opposition was highest to measures such as closing workplaces and shutting down markets.
Matshidiso Moeti, Africa director of WHO (World Health Organisation), said: “What we’ve learned from Ebola and other outbreaks is that countries need decentralise the response to the community level and increase their capacity to identify and diagnose cases”.
Governments in Africa have been facing a dilemma when deciding how best to respond to the pandemic.
Millions need to leave their homes every day to go and work to feed their families.
‘Countries must now find a balance between reducing transmission while preventing social and economic disruption’, the report said.
To date, Africa has recorded nearly 50,000 cases of coronavirus, with under 2,000 fatalities.