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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 131-136

Social-distancing compliance among pedestrians in Ahvaz, South-West Iran during the Covid-19 pandemic


1 Department of Occupational Safety and Health Engineering, School of Public Health, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran
2 Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
3 Department of Health Education and Promotion, School of Public Health, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran
4 Department of Environmental Health Engineering, Air Pollution and Respiratory Diseases Research Center, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran
5 Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Hearing Research Center, Clinical Sciences Research Institute, School of Public Health, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran

Correspondence Address:
Bahman Cheraghian
Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Hearing Research Center, Clinical Sciences Research Institute, School of Public Health, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz
Iran
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/shb.shb_74_21

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Introduction: Social distancing is a public health tool that seeks to reduce opportunities for an infectious agent to spread among individuals. The current study aimed at investigating the social-distancing compliance among pedestrians in Ahvaz city, South-west Iran during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted in Ahvaz, South-west Iran, from 2 to August 11, 2020. The data collection was performed based on observation of passers-by in the streets. Chi-square, Fisher's exact test, Chi-square for trend, and logistic regression were used for the data analysis. Results: The overall compliance rate of social distancing was 16.3%. There was a statistically significant difference between age groups and social distancing (P < 0.001), but this relationship was not seen in gender (P = 0.12). The compliance rate of social distancing was significantly higher during morning hours than evening hours (P < 0.001). A significant inverse association was founded between the number of observed group members and the compliance rate of social distancing so that the odds of social distancing compliance among two members groups were 59% higher than the group of 6 and more members (odds ratio = 1.59; 95% confidence interval, 1.47–1.72; P = 0.003). Conclusion: We found that the overall compliance rate of social distancing among the participants was very low and inefficient. This can make disease control difficult and leads the city to a critical situation in terms of coronavirus outbreaks. The findings can help health policymakers and health workers to plan and conduct preventive interventions.


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