Spatial variations in COVID-19 risk perception and coping mechanism in Pakistan

Irfan Ahmad Rana, Saad Bhatti, Junaid Ahmad, Atif Bilal Aslam, Ali Jamshed

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The outbreak of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization, which instigated governments to impose lockdowns across their countries. Amidst the lockdown in Pakistan, this study comprised measures of the COVID-19 risk perception, coping mechanism, and spatial variations. The data from 40 selected indicators was collected using an online questionnaire and grouped into domains (4 risk perception and 3 coping mechanisms domains). The results revealed the spatial variations and the levels of risk perception and coping mechanisms within the study area. Relative to each other, overall risk perception was highest in Northern Areas (Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir) and Islamabad, and lowest in Balochistan province. Very little spatial variation was observed in terms of coping mechanisms. Age, gender, and marital status influenced the risk perception associated with COVID-19. The findings suggest spatial variation in risk perception, implying the need for localized and modified COVID-19 risk communication and risk reduction strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1543
Pages (from-to)287-299
Number of pages13
JournalSpatial Information Research
Early online date29 Nov 2022
Publication statusPublished online - 29 Nov 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Because of the rapidly evolving situation, most respondents actively sought out new information about COVID-19 in Pakistan to stay updated about the number of cases/deaths, lockdown extensions, and vaccine development. Since a lockdown situation could induce mental stress, respondents were predisposed to try something new to relieve their minds. This was apparent in all six regions. The respondents also talked with others who may help them understand the current crisis. All the respondents were employed, and at the time of the survey, most were not seeking financial support from the government. However, the respondents from Northern Areas were partially inclined to seek financial support from their respective provincial governments. Overall, the problem-oriented coping mechanism was similar in all regions of Pakistan (Fig. ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Korea Spatial Information Society.


  • Community response
  • Coronavirus
  • Pandemic
  • Risk communication
  • Risk management


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