New Delhi: A significant proportion of Indian college students believe that Indians are naturally immune to COVID-19 and this could lead to people not taking the necessary precautions when the lockdown is lifted, according to a survey.
According to a country-wide survey among students by Aspiring Minds, which was taken by over 4,000 graduates, 89 per cent Indian graduates know how COVID-19 spreads, while 44 per cent believe that Indians are naturally immune.
"There is no scientific study that has confirmed this and such a belief can be catastrophic for our population. They will lower their guard and can potentially accelerate the spread of the pandemic," the survey noted.
There is a clear lack of awareness about what surfaces carry coronavirus the longest. Only a little over 50 per cent respondents chose the correct answer, plastic, where the virus survives more than 72 hrs.
Around 26 per cent of respondents also went for copper, where the virus is alive only for 4 hours. "This is important with respect to hygiene practices since most necessary goods have plastic packaging," the survey said.
The gamified COVID-19 survey included questions on facts about COVID-19. While the overall survey outcome was rather good with 75 per cent average correct answers, but the implications of not knowing certain facts can be catastrophic in view of the seriousness of the pandemic.
"On average, students performed well in the survey... We, however, need to see it from the perspective that the sample here is all graduates and doesn't cover the population which doesn't go to college.
"However, these folks can definitely have a spillover effect on others and there is a dire need to take steps for creating awareness within the population at large to ensure a smooth transition towards unlockdown," said Varun Aggarwal, co-founder and CTO of Aspiring Minds.