Background and Objective: COVID-19 hit 2020 as one of the worst pandemics which happens over 100 years. Although people across the globe did not respond effectively to the pandemic yet Pakistani population responded to this pandemic with a different mindset as it was difficult for them to accept the infectious nature, spread, and associatedrestrictions. This study was designed to determine the awareness and attitudes of the Pakistani population towards the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic regarding reservation to quarantineand trust in healthcare system.
Methods: The study was carried out from November-December 2020 during the second wave of COVID-19. The data was collected through a self-administered online questionnaire and included subjects from all provinces across Pakistan. Responses about awareness, attitudes, and trust in health care were recorded. The social stigma associated with COVID-19 was also recorded through this questionnaire. Data was entered in SPSS-20 and results were interpreted accordingly.
Results: Of all the participants, 70-80% of individuals knew about the disease and its spread, 48.8% of participants knew about the severity and prognosis of the disease, only 45-46% of patients were comfortable in getting themselves or their families tested if advised and reporting to healthcare about COVID-19. Out of all participants, 57.9% people admitted that there was a stigma associated with COVID-19 diagnosis, 37.8% believed that lack of testing and reporting was associated with this stigma, 46.6% individuals believed in rumors of false COVID-19 diagnosis and wrong treatment in Pakistani hospitals, 46.9% showed that they did not trust healthcare for patient management,65.9% attributed hiding disease to mistrust in healthcare and 57.5% participants did not want to be quarantined in government centers, if needed.
Conclusion: Knowledge of COVID-19 among people in Pakistan was nearly sufficient, their attitudes were mainly positive, while their practices needed approach that is more satisfactory. There exists a gap in the trust in government policies and local health care system. Pakistani people need more education to beat the stigma associated with COVID-19 to ensure early reporting and prompt treatment for these types of infectious diseases in the future.