THE KNOWLEDGE AND PERCEPTION OF COVID-19 AND ITS PREVENTIVE MEASURES, IN PUBLIC OF PAKISTAN
Objective: To study the perception of COVID-19 and its prevention in the general public.
Study Design: Cross-sectional study conducted using convenient sampling technique.
Place and Duration of Study: In Islamic Republic of Pakistan, from 1st Apr to 12th Apr 2020.
Methodology: An online questionnaire was made on Google Forms Inc. It was modified from an online ques-tionnaire available free on the internet. The sample size was 1042. Frequencies and percentages were calculated for categorical variables. Mean and standard deviation was calculated for continuous data and chi-square and t-test were applied for statistical significance between healthcare providers and non-healthcare providers.
Results: A total of 97% people thought that older adults were more likely to develop complications. Most of the participants thought that use of face mask (91%), washing hands (99.4%), avoiding close contact with sick people (97.8%) and not touching the face with unwashed hands (98.7%) should be used as a preventive measure. Majority were aware of the common symptoms of the disease. Statistically significant difference between some perceptions of healthcare providers and non-health care providers was observed with myths prevailing more in the health care providers, these are; rinsing mouth and nose with saline for prevention (59.9%) and skin rash (8.9%) and watery diarrhea (47.8%) as common symptoms. 85.2% of the participants believed that “kalonji” and 81.6% believed that antimalarials may be effective in prevention or treatment of the disease.
Conclusions: The participants showed a high level of knowledge regarding the pandemic but certain myths are also prevalent.