Aim: To assess the level of knowledge and awareness of undergraduate medical students in order to determine whether the undergraduate virology course is up to standard for preparation of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Methodology: A cross-sectional study was conducted online by random-sampling method with a multi-central approach. Data was collected from 311 respondents for a time period of one month during May 2020. IRB approval was granted. Descriptive analysis was done on student demographics, their knowledge and opinions, using the research tool SPSS 24.
Results: Majority of students had factually correct knowledge about Covid-19, according to the WHO guidelines. However, there was poor knowledge regarding animal reservoirs and other diseases caused by Coronaviruses. Most students had learned about Coronaviruses from sources apart from the syllabi or course material and 93% were in agreement for wanting an improved Coronavirus module in their undergraduate virology courses.
Conclusion: Medical students have good knowledge about Coronavirus, but are lacking in some crucial topics such as sources of animal reservoir and types of diseases etc. More studies need to be conducted in order to assess whether undergraduate syllabi are sufficient for educating and training students about future possible pandemics. An efficient prospective course of action should be determined accordingly.
Keywords: Medical students, Coronaviruses, Covid-19, Pandemic, Knowledge, Awareness.