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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 48-51

Stigma related to coronavirus disease 2019 among the general population in India

Department of Community Medicine, Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Patna, Bihar, India

Correspondence Address:
Shishir Kumar
Department of Community Medicine, Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Patna, Bihar
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jigims.jigims_14_21

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Background: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak has provoked social stigma and discriminatory behaviors against the people suffering from it as well as its perceived threat of contamination. The possible reasons behind such behaviors may be poor knowledge about the disease and its safety measures. This is leading to drive people in hiding their illness or preventing them from seeking health-care facilities. Objectives: (1) To identify the factors of anxiety, fear, and stigma related to COVID-19 in the general population and (2) to assess the impact of information related to COVID-19 on the stigmatized behavior of the study population. Materials and Methods: This study is a descriptive, cross-sectional, anonymous online questionnaire-based survey using mixed (quantitative and qualitative) research methods. Random sampling technique was used through online snowballing technique. Results: About 52.4% respondent's feels having potential risk of COVID very dangerous. Only 31.3% respondents felt worried and depressed with the news of COVID-19 in the past 2 weeks. Whereas, 58.6% respondents found that this pandemic has affected their mental health negatively to some extent. Overall 44.1% respondents agreed that COVID-19 has generated stigma against the specific group of people. Although 81.3% respondents did not find any discrimination against service providers or caregivers of the COVID-19 patients in their community. Conclusion: COVID-19 has created a lot of fear and anxiety among the general population, but still correct information and prior knowledge about its prevention and care have generated a positive attitude among people to fight against this disease as well as reducing stigmatized behavior related to it.

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