covid-19 indiacovid-19 mumbaicoronavirushealth care workerswho coronaviruscdc coronaviruscovid-19healthcare professionalsppehand hygiene
Background and objectives The rapid and extensive spread of the COVID-19 pandemic has become a major cause of concern for the healthcare profession. The aim of this study is to assess the awareness of COVID-19 disease and related infection control practices among healthcare professionals and students in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region. Materials and methods A total of 1562 responders from the Mumbai Metropolitan Region completed a questionnaire-based survey on the awareness, knowledge, and infection control practices related to COVID-19 infection in the healthcare setting. The questionnaire was adapted from the current interim guidance and information for healthcare workers published by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Convenient sampling method was used for data collection and the distribution of responses was presented as frequencies and percentages. Descriptive statistics were performed for all groups and subgroups based on the percentage of correct responses. Individual pairwise comparisons were done using the median test for the percentage of correct responses. Results The overall awareness for all subgroups was adequate with 71.2% reporting correct answers. The highest percentage of correct responses were from undergraduate medical students and the lowest was from non-clinical/administrative staff. Less than half of the total respondents could correctly define “close contact.” More than three-fourths of the responders were aware of the various infection control measures like rapid triage, respiratory hygiene, and cough etiquette and having a separate, well ventilated waiting area for suspected COVID-19 patients. However, only 45.4% of the responders were aware of the correct sequence for the application of a mask/respirator, and only 52.5% of the responders were aware of the preferred hand hygiene method for visibly soiled hands. Conclusion There is a need for regular educational interventions and training programs on infection control practices for COVID-19 across all healthcare professions. Occupational health and safety are of paramount importance to minimize the risk of transmission to healthcare students and professionals and provide optimal care for patients.
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