Knowledge and awareness of COVID-19 among Indonesian migrant workers in the Greater China Region

A. Liem, C. Wang, C. Dong, A. I.F. Lam, C. A. Latkin, B. J. Hall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Migrant workers are one of the most vulnerable population groups during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. This study investigated knowledge and awareness of COVID-19 among Indonesian migrant workers (IMWs) in Macao (SAR), Hong Kong (SAR), and Taiwan. Study design: This was a cross-sectional study. Methods: Data were collected through an online survey in February and March 2020 to gain information on (1) participants’ sociodemographic characteristics, (2) experience and awareness regarding COVID-19 information, and (3) knowledge and understanding of COVID-19. A series of Chi-squared, t-test, and logistic regression analyses were conducted. Results: The survey was completed by 491 participants (92.1% female). Knowledge of COVID-19 was obtained from multiple sources, including a large proportion from online social media. However, participants who obtained information from their employer, local social networks, and migrant organisations answered a greater number of questions correctly. One-third of participants reported receiving hoax, fake news, and incorrect information and obtained information from unverified sources. Participants were most interested in information about how to cure COVID-19, and 57.8% knew that no specific drug or vaccine was currently available. Almost all participants correctly identified fever and wearing a facemask as the main COVID-19 symptom and prevention strategy, respectively. Participants with senior high school or higher education and who worked as domestic or care workers had a greater knowledge of COVID-19 than their counterparts. Conclusions: Public health communication strategies using multiple channels, including employers and community organisations, would help to minimise COVID-19 knowledge gaps. In addition, it is recommended that digital literacy content is added to public health campaigns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)28-35
Number of pages8
JournalPublic Health
StatePublished - Aug 2021


  • Health communication
  • Health education
  • Infodemic
  • Labour worker
  • Migrant health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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