The Financial Express
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70pc have high level knowledge of virus transmission, says survey

| Updated: September 02, 2020 16:48:58

Paying no heed to social distancing norms amid the Coronavirus outbreak, commuters scramble to get on a bus in Gandaria area of the city on Thursday — FE photo by Shafiqul Alam Paying no heed to social distancing norms amid the Coronavirus outbreak, commuters scramble to get on a bus in Gandaria area of the city on Thursday — FE photo by Shafiqul Alam

Health officials have identified attitude problem of the people and young generation and reluctance to follow health guidelines, making it difficult for them to control and prevent the spread of Covid-19 in the country.

They, however, are not willing to enforce law although they have issued a circular giving warning of penalty several times regarding mandatory mask use without yielding any result. They believe motivation and publicity is better than punishment.

About 70 per cent people have high knowledge about corona transmission while 78 per cent know the proper process of hand washing and mask use, a survey conducted by Communicable Disease Control (CDC) has revealed.

Of them, 52 per cent wear mask, 52 per cent wash hands regularly and 58 per cent use hand sanitizer. About 50 per cent of them maintain social distancing. But knowledge is poor in rural areas as 74 per cent people think Covid-19 a killer disease.

Among the health workers, 75 per cent have proper knowledge about Covid-19 and 76 per cent practise health guidelines to prevent Covid-19.

About 72 per cent medical and non-medical students have very good knowledge about corona transmission. Of them, 47 per cent do not know what is meant by three-feet social distancing, 29 per cent students think three-layer mask made of fabric can prevent Covid-19 and 8.0 per cent students believe smoking prevents Covid-19.

These were revealed during a dissemination programme on the results of three quick surveys conducted by CDC and Institute of Public Health (IPH) since March through August. CDC organized the dissemination programme at the MIS auditorium at DGHS at Mohakhali in the city.

Director general or DG health Professor Dr Abul Bashar Mohammed Khurshid Alam was present as the chief guest. Additional DG (Admin) Professor Dr Nasima Sultana and former DG of DGHS Professor Dr Foyez Ahmed were also present.

CDC director Professor Dr Shahnila Ferdousi made presentations on two surveys.

IPH assistant professor Dr Shah Mahfuzur Rahman made presentation on another survey.

In her presentation, Dr Shahnila said 604 support staff working at various health facilities in Dhaka were surveyed through written questionnaire. About 33 per cent of them think that N-95 mask is suitable for covid prevention and 54 per cent think surgical mask. But 54 per cent of them think that hand sanitizer is the only way for disinfection.

Referring to the survey conducted on 399 students from public and private universities, and medical colleges, it was seen that despite having proper knowledge, 25 per cent of them practise health rules. About 29 per cent students think hand sanitizer is the only way for disinfection and 55 per cent think that N-95 mask is required for covid prevention.

Professor Foyez Ahmed said the most important lesson from this pandemic should be that essential life skills and issues like nutrition, family planning, communicable and non-communicable diseases, pandemic, community health should be included in the school curriculum as a part of health education. There are some issues now in the textbooks but most of them are wrong.

Dr Nasima Sultana said they cannot enforce the law of infectious disease control forcing the people to wear mask as they do not have any magistracy power.

"It is difficult to make people follow the health rules that we are saying everyday. It is not clear to everyone that all three rules -- social/physical distancing, mask use and hand washing -- should be followed simultaneously and not a single one," she said.


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