Originally published in SSRN on 17 April 2020

Author: Dr Khandaker Mursheda Farhana

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the 2019–20 coronavirus outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) on 30 January 2020 and a pandemic on 11 March 2020. Local transmission of the disease has been recorded in many countries across all six WHO regions. A poor understanding of the disease among the general people and healthcare workers may implicate in delayed treatment and the rapid spread of infection. The study aimed to investigate the knowledge and perceptions of about COVID-19 in Bangladesh. This study is a cross sectional design with mixed method approach. Appropriate statistical analysis was performed as the Chi-square test was used to investigate the level of association among variables. A total of 435 completed the study questionnaire, including (71.26.6%) men and (28.73%) women, and most of them are age range 41-50 years of age (80.45%). Respondents are doctors (31.18%), medical students (29.88%), public service (7.35%) and from other professions (30.57%). All of the participants agreed that they heard about COVID-19 (97.8%). Most of them used social media to obtain regarding the COVID-19 information. A significant proportion of had poor knowledge of its transmission and symptoms onset and showed a positive perception of COVID-19 prevention and control. Factors such as profession and age are correlated with inadequate knowledge and poor perception of COVID-19. The findings of this study suggest significant knowledge gaps between the amount of information available about COVID-19 and the depth of knowledge among the healthcare personnel and general people, particularly about the mode of transmission and incubation period of COVID-19. As the global threat of COVID-19 continues to emerge, it is critical to improving knowledge and perceptions among the general people and healthcare professionals in Bangladesh.