Cyprus Journal of Medical Sciences
Original Article

Knowledge, Perception, and Implementation of Personal Protective Measures by Citizens during the COVID-19 Outbreak in Northern Cyprus: A Cross-Sectional Survey

1.

Department of Pharmaceutical Microbiology, Near East University Facult of Pharmacy, Nicosia, Cyprus

2.

Department of Medical Microbiology and Clinical Microbiology, Near East University Faculty of Medicine, Nicosia, Cyprus

Cyprus J Med Sci 2021; 6: 208-216
DOI: 10.5152/cjms.2021.3086
Read: 199 Downloads: 77 Published: 18 October 2021

BACKGROUND/AIMS
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 has generated over 57 million cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) worldwide and has led to the implementation of strict measures in all countries. The aim of this study was to investigate the knowledge, attitude, and implementation status of personal protective measures (PPMs) by Northern Cyprus citizens and their access to personal protective equipment (PPE) during the COVID-19 outbreak.

MATERIAL and METHODS
This was a cross-sectional study based on internet-based survey. A total of 406 participants were recruited between May 1, 2020 and May 4, 2020 via authors’ networks to complete a questionnaire. Participants were asked to indicate how often they implemented five PPMs recommended by the World Health Organization, their daily frequency of hand hygiene events, COVID-19 knowledge, and the availability of PPE in their hometown.

RESULTS
The prevalence of five PPMs was 65.0-95.6%, with the highest being hand hygiene and the lowest being avoiding touching the eyes, nose, and mouth. Gloves (86.2%), surgical masks (52.2%), and cloth face masks (47.3%) were the most commonly used PPE in public areas. Majority of responders were aware of the incubation time (90.4%) and indirect route of viral transmission (89.7%), whereas the knowledge of droplet (72.2%) and aerosol transmission (43.6%) was lower. Women washed their hands more frequently than men (P ¼ .008), and the 15-54 age group was statistically more knowledgeable about transmission routes compared with >55 age group (P ¼ .003). Knowledge was gained mainly through the social media and TV.

CONCLUSION
Overall, citizens implemented protective measures effectively and were strictly coherent to government-induced curfew and selfisolation measurements with a high public awareness.

Cite this article as: Yilmaz AB, Guler E, Baddal B. Knowledge, Perception, and Implementation of Personal Protective Measures by Citizens during the COVID-19 Outbreak in Northern Cyprus: A Cross-Sectional Survey. Cyprus J Med Sci. 2021; 6(3): 208-216.

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ISSN 2149-7893 EISSN 2536-507X