The first case of coronavirus was reported in Ethiopia on March 13, 2020, and the number of cases has been rising continually. This study examined the level and correlates of risk perception, knowledge, and attitude in relation to COVID-19 in Ethiopia. It also assessed the level of adoption of various preventive practices and their association with risk perception, knowledge, and attitude. The rapid assessment was made using data collected in a telephone survey. Correlates of knowledge, attitude, and risk/impact perception were assessed using Poisson regression. Econometric estimation was used to identify the correlations of knowledge, attitude, and risk/impact perception scores with the adoption of preventive practices. A total of 1,037 respondents participated in the survey. Although the level of knowledge about the pandemic was generally good among the population, a significant proportion of the population (the elderly and less educated) still do not have correct knowledge about the disease symptoms and means of transmission. Some respondents revealed unfavorable attitudes about the virus, and around two-thirds of respondents did not perceive the fast-expanding pandemic to be a major risk. A significant correlation was found between the adoption of preventive practices and knowledge, attitude, and impact perception in relation to COVID-19. Health education interventions would be more effective if they were to target certain demographic groups, such as the elderly and less educated, whose overall average knowledge about COVID-19 is lower. The use of a multiple media outlet for disseminating information on COVID-19 may improve choices and enhance knowledge.


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