Facemask Usage Among Pedestrians in Most Crowded Urban Districts of Kabul, Afghanistan, During the Third COVID-19 Wave: An Observational Study

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  • 1 Department of Microbiology, Kabul University of Medical Sciences, Kabul, Afghanistan;
  • | 2 Department of Cardiology, Nanfang Hospital, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, China;
  • | 3 Department Surveillance, Ministry of Public Health, Kabul, Afghanistan;
  • | 4 Kabul University of Medical Sciences, Kabul, Afghanistan;
  • | 5 Department of Dermatology, Maiwand Hospital, Kabul University of Medical Sciences, Kabul, Afghanistan

The COVID-19 has spread to everywhere since its emergence from Wuhan. In countries with a low vaccination rate, the use of facemasks is essential to limit the risk of COVID-19 transmission. We have conducted this study in June 2021 to estimate the prevalence of facemask usage, and investigate the use of different types of facemasks and their distribution among pedestrians in the most crowded urban districts of Kabul during the third COVID-19 wave in Afghanistan. Using a multistage sampling method, a total of 5,000 pedestrians were selected from five most crowded urban districts of the city. The data was gathered by an observational method. The percentage, mean, and standard deviation were used to describe the variables. The χ2 test analysis was used to assess the relationship between two categorical variables. Of the 5,000 observations, the most common age group was 10–39 years with high participation of male (87.2%). A total of 2,013 (40.3%) people used facemasks (95% CI). Females used facemasks significantly more than males (64.6% versus 36.7%, P < 0.001). Among the pedestrians who used a facemask, most of them (88.6%) wore their facemask correctly. In conclusion the prevalence of facemask use in Kabul was fairly low especially among elderly people (≥ 60 years). Hence, the observed rates probably cannot protect the community against the COVID-19. Therefore, it is important to emphasize the public health recommendations via educational programs and national campaigns to support the strict use of facemasks in public places.

Author Notes

Address correspondence to Arash Nemat, Department of Microbiology, Kabul University of Medical Sciences, University Road, Ali Abad, Jamaal Mina, third district, Kabul 1001, Afghanistan. E-mail: dr.arashnemat@yahoo.com

Financial support: This research received no external funding.

Authors’ addresses: Arash Nemat, Department of Microbiology, Kabul University of Medical Sciences, Kabul, Afghanistan, and Department of Cardiology, Nanfang Hospital, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, China, E-mail: dr.arashnemat@yahoo.com. Abdullah Asady and Ahmad Wali Ataye, Department of Microbiology, Kabul University of Medical Sciences, Kabul, Afghanistan, E-mails: asady_abdullah@yahoo.com and drataye1@gmail.com. Tamim Jan Danishmand, Department Surveillance, Ministry of Public Health, Kabul, Afghanistan, E-mail: tamimdanishmand@gmail.com. Mohammad Yasir Essar, Kabul University of Medical Sciences, Kabul, Afghanistan, E-mail: yasir.essar@gmail.com. Nahid Raufi, Department of Dermatology, Maiwand Hospital, Kabul University of Medical Sciences, Kabul, Afghanistan, E-mail: dr.nahidraufi111@gmail.com.

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