Assessment of awareness and hygiene practices regarding COVID-19 among adults in Gaza, Palestine.

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Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has spread worldwide and become an emerging life-threatening pandemic disease since 2019. This study aimed to evaluate the basic knowledge, awareness, personal hygiene and healthy practices regarding COVID-19 during its outbreak among the Palestinian population in the Gaza Strip. It is a cross-sectional survey carried out between July and August 2020 and included 458 participants, aged 18 years or older, belonging to the five Gaza Strip governorates, Palestine, with a variety of socio-economic status. Sociodemographic data and data on COVID-19 knowledge, awareness, personal hygiene and healthy practices were collected via email and social media applications (WhatsApp and Facebook) from the study participants. Statistical analyses were performed using Vr 22 of the SPSS software. Overall, the mean ± SD age of the participants was 26.5 ± 4.2 years. Our findings showed that most of the Gazan adults had very good knowledge regarding COVID-19 in terms of host sources, causative agents, incubation period, symptoms, transmission, treatment and prevention. Additionally, most of the participants had a high level of personal hygiene and healthy practices during the COVID-19 outbreak, where personal hygiene and healthy practices against COVID-19 was 77.4%. Furthermore, a higher educational level did not affect the quality of personal hygiene and healthy practice behaviours during the COVID-19 outbreak. Although most of the Gazans had good knowledge regarding the healthy practices, a significant percentage of the population did not practice the hygiene protocol. Despite the majority of the Gazan population having very good knowledge regarding COVID-19 and a high level of personal hygiene and healthy practices during the COVID-19 outbreak, a small proportion require education about avoiding physical contact and maintaining social distancing with others during the pandemic.

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Authors: A M Altaher, A E Y Elottol, M A Jebril, S H Aliwaini