Originally published in journals.plos.org on 14 August 2020

In Bangladesh, an array of measures have been adopted to control the rapid spread of the COVID-19 epidemic. Such general population control measures could significantly influence perception, knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAP) towards COVID-19. Here, we assessed KAP towards COVID-19 immediately after the lock-down measures were implemented and during the rapid rise period of the outbreak. Online-based cross-sectional study conducted from March 29 to April 19, 2020, involving Bangladeshi residents aged 12–64 years, recruited via social media. After consenting, participants completed an online survey assessing socio-demographic variables, perception, and KAP towards COVID-19. Of the 2017 survey participants, 59.8% were male, the majority were students (71.2%), aged 21–30 years (57.9%), having a bachelor’s degree (61.0%), having family income >30,000 BDT (50.0%), and living in urban areas (69.8). The survey revealed that 48.3% of participants had more accurate knowledge, 62.3% had more positive attitudes, and 55.1% had more frequent practices regarding COVID-19 prevention. Majority (96.7%) of the participants agreed ‘COVID-19 is a dangerous disease’, almost all (98.7%) participants wore a face mask in crowded places, 98.8% agreed to report a suspected case to health authorities, and 93.8% implemented washing hands with soap and water. In multiple logistic regression analyses, COVID-19 more accurate knowledge was associated with age and residence. Sociodemographic factors such as being older, higher education, employment, monthly family income >30,000 BDT, and having more frequent prevention practices were the more positive attitude factors. More frequent prevention practice factors were associated with female sex, older age, higher education, family income > 30,000 BDT, urban area residence, and having more positive attitudes. To improve KAP of general populations is crucial during the rapid rise period of a pandemic outbreak such as COVID-19. Therefore, development of effective health education programs that incorporate considerations of KAP-modifying factors is needed.