Knowledge, Awareness and Perception towards COVID-19 during early outbreak: A Cross-sectional study from Southern Pakistan

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Z. A. LAGHARI
A. A. SAMO
N. M. BAIG
F. G. BALOCH
SUJO MEGHWAR

Abstract

COVID-19 emerged from the seafood market of Wuhan, spread in many countries, including Pakistan within three months. This led many countries including, to take strict precautionary measures including strict lockdowns, to control the spread of COVID-19. Pakistan is currently facing a pandemic and economic crisis together. Spreading the awareness to the people in Pakistan is a huge challenge, owing to lower literacy rate, increasing poverty, lack of health care facilities, socio-demographic factors and disinformation pose a challenge to control COVID-19 in this region of the world. The purpose of this study was to assess the level of awareness and knowledge in general the public using an online survey.Methodology: The questionnaire was designed relying on available knowledge on COVID-19. The link of the questionnaire was sent to various participants using emails and social media such as Facebook and WhatsApp. Total 653 participants filled the online questionnaire and gave responses to all fields required in the questionnaire.Socio-demographic distribution of the participants indicated a higher number of participants were male in gender category, those who were unmarried, living in urban areas, having higher degrees and lower economic status were higher in numbers. Results:Out of total participants, overall 91.9% responded that they knew about COVID-19, and 90.1% believed that COVID-19 is reality. Overall the correct responses were higher for COVID-19 related awareness, which included route of transmission, symptoms and precautionary preventive measures.Conclusion: This study indicates higher level of awareness in people living in studied area, however, this knowledge comparatively lower than developed countries.

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