In the global pandemic of COVID-19, community pharmacists play key roles in implementing personal protective measures to control their own risk as well as the patient’s risk of being infected with COVID-19. This study was designed to explore the COVID-19 knowledge and precautionary measures of the pharmacists and patients in community pharmacies. A cross-sectional survey was conducted on the pharmacists and patients in community pharmacies. Community pharmacists (N=597) and patients (N=779) from 162 community pharmacies were the subjects of the analysis. Though the pharmacists and patients had good COVID knowledge, the mean Knowledge score (K score) among the pharmacists (7.71±1.43) was statistically higher than that of patients (7.35±1.64, p<0.01). Regarding the precautionary measures, the mean precautionary measure score (P score) of the pharmacists (8.17±1.86) was statistically higher than that of the patients (7.91±2.04, p<0.05). Considering COVID knowledge of patients of different age groups (age: ≤39 and ≥40), no statistically significant differences were observed. Whereas regarding the precautionary measures, between these two age groups, several statistically significant differences were observed in the mean P score (≥40: 8.09±1.99, ≤39: 7.29±2.07, p<0.001) and in the implementing rates in some of the practices, avoiding crowded places, avoiding touching eyes/nose/mouth, etc. (p=0.043, p<0.001, respectively). The community pharmacists were found to have better knowledge and implemented better precautionary measures for the prevention of COVID-19 than the patients. The young generation patients should be educated on the essential protective measures for reducing the risk of becoming infected with COVID-19.
Key words: COVID-19, community pharmacy practice, pandemic, personal protective measures, patients, community pharmacists
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