49pc coastal people have no idea how to fight Covid-19
Published : Friday, 24 April, 2020 at 12:00 AM Count : 334
A recent survey has said 49% people in coastal areas have no clear idea how to protect themselves from Coronavirus.
When asked 74% of people said they didn't know about the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) and its service.
They don't even know about 'home quarantine' and 56 percent people have misconception about it while 13 percent don't know why one should use a mask.
Of the people in coastal regions, 24 percent have no idea what is social distancing, said the survey.
The organization COAST Trust conducted this survey among low-wage earners in Cox's Bazar and Bhola district and unveiled it online on Thursday.
The survey said the basic objective of the survey was to assess primary knowledge of the coastal poor and how they are complying with the health directives.
Of the survey responders, 47 percent were women and 53 percent men. 80% of the women responders were housewives and the rest included students, dropped-out adolescents and elderly people.
Ten percent of the responders were farmers, 18 percent laborers, 19 percent small entrepreneurs and 13 percent fishermen. Rohingya refugees of Cox's Bazar and the Island district of Bhola were selected for this survey.
The survey also included two small islands - Kutubdia and Char Motahar of Bhola - in the Bay of Bengal.
Despite massive awareness campaign across the country, it is found that 49 percent of the responders don't know about the basic rules of hand washing.
Forty-three percent people said they were not able to follow those rules for different reasons including unavailability of soaps all the time.
People who responded to questions 26% of them have misconceptions about how the virus spreads. 53% of them are not fully aware of the primary symptoms of a Coronavirus positive person.
When asked about sneezing and coughing etiquette, 64 percent made mention of tissue, napkin, or elbow. The rest 36% said they had no idea about it.
Almost all of the housewives said they didn't directly have access to information on Coronavirus. They had to depend on the family members who go outside.
The survey says it is hardly possible for the low-wage earners to stay at home. 37 percent responders said they go to market once a week and sometimes more than that.
The rest 63 percent of responders go to market every two or three days for buying food.
Rezaul Karim Chowdhury, Executive Director of the COAST Trust, said the organization conducted this survey to know how poor people of coastal areas are fighting this completely unknown disaster.
Analyzing the survey findings the Monitoring and Research Department of the COAST said a normal mask available in the market of those areas costs Tk30-Tk40 which is hardly affordable for low-income people.
They desperately need money which is not available now since the microfinance operation is closed.
Some recommendations are proposed in the survey, including more facilities for testing Covid-19 virus.
NGOs and other organizations including religious persons and institutions should be included in the awareness-raising campaign and information dissemination, the survey suggested.
Microfinance should be reopened to be able to finance small entrepreneurs and initiatives to be taken to transport their products by following proper protective health measures, it said.