A Correct Perception to Avoid Deception: A Questionnaire-Based Survey of School Students on COVID-19
Background and Aim: COVID-19, an ongoing pandemic caused by novel coronavirus 2019 (2019 n-CoV), has established itself as a matter of prime importance in the world. Schools all over the world and in India have been shut down since March 2020 to reduce social interaction and thus exposure. This age group, however, remains vulnerable even without exposure at large in school. Therefore, it seemed relevant to assess the awareness and knowledge regarding COVID-19 among students. Materials and Methods: This survey was conducted in metropolitan region of Hyderabad, Telangana state, India, during the months of April–June 2020. The survey, containing a questionnaire regarding COVID-19, was sent out as an online form to 10 schools in the city and the forms were designed to be filled in by students (middle school to senior secondary). Data entry and statistical analysis were performed with Statistical Package for the Social Sciences software program for Windows (Version 18.0). Results: The questionnaire was sent across to about 750 participants belonging to standards 5 through 10, and 605 responded, with a response rate of 80.6%. Conclusions were drawn in patterns of how the knowledge of students belonging to 5th–7th and 8th–10th differed and between genders, and there was no significant difference. Majority of the students knew about COVID-19 and how to prevent it but a large number lacked knowledge about more detailed information such as the treatment and recommended masks for the prevention of this condition. Conclusion: Overall, the study concluded that the students were adequately informed about COVID-19 though there were aspects about the pandemic that needed more awareness. As students comprise a very large section of the community, it is important to educate them and to make sure they are armed with enough knowledge to face this pandemic.
Key words: Awareness, COVID-19, school students
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