Background: The risk of transmission of COVID-19 infection significantly increases with mass gatherings during the pandemic. According to WHO recommendations, the decision to hold, modify, postpone, or cancel gatherings of any size during the COVID-19 pandemic should rely on a risk-based approach. WHO Mass Gathering COVID-19 Risk Assessment tool-Generic Events, to the best of our knowledge, has not been translated into Persian and its reliability and validity have not been determined in the Iranian population.
Objectives: The present study aimed to assess the reliability and validity of the Persian version of the WHO Mass Gathering COVID-19 risk Assessment tool-Generic Events in the Iranian population.
Methods: The content and face validity of the final Persian version of the WHO Mass Gathering COVID-19 Risk Assessment tool- Generic Event, Version 2 (10 July 2020) was confirmed by five experts and the WHO office in Tehran, Iran. Then, the tool was completed by 17 Iranian adults on two occasions at least two weeks after a hypothetical mass gathering event. The participants were mainly selected from the personnel of the Iranian red crescent society. All of them had a bachelor's or higher university degree in health sciences. The data were analyzed using SPSS software and related statistical tests (Pearson correlation coefficient).
Results: Risk evaluation and risk mitigation questions of the Persian version of the tool had high reliability on two occasions at least two weeks after a hypothetical mass gathering event based on the Pearson correlation coefficient (r=0.81, P-value=0.03 for risk evaluation and r=0.75, P-value=0.04 for risk mitigation questions based on their final scores).
Conclusion: The Persian version of the tool can be used to classify the risk of mass gatherings for COVID-19 infection.
WHO. Communicable disease alert and response for mass gatherings: key considerations. World Health Organization. 2008. Available from: https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/public-health-for-mass-gatherings-key-considerations
Memish ZA, Steffen R, White P, Dar O, Azhar EI, Sharma A, et al. Mass gatherings medicine: public health issues arising from mass gathering religious and sporting events. Lancet. 2019;393(10185):2073-84. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(19)30501-X. [PubMed: 31106753].
Nsoesie EO, Kluberg SA, Mekaru SR, Majumder MS, Khan K, Hay SI, et al. New digital technologies for the surveillance of infectious diseases at mass gathering events. Clin Microbiol Infect. 2015;21(2):134-40. doi: 10.1016/j.cmi.2014.12.017. [PubMed: 25636385].
WHO. Global mass gatherings: implications and opportunities for global health security. World Health Organization. 2011. Available from: https://apps.who.int/iris/handle/10665/23751.
Memish ZA, Zumla A, McCloskey B, Heymann D, Al Rabeeah AA, Barbeschi M, et al. Mass gatherings medicine: international cooperation and progress. Lancet. 2014;383(9934):2030-2.
WHO. Key planning recommendations for mass gatherings in the context of COVID-19: interim guidance, World Health Organization. 2020. Available from: https://apps.who.int/iris/handle/10665/332235.
WHO. Public health for mass gatherings: key considerations. World Health Organization. 2015. Available from: https://apps.who.int/iris/handle/10665/162109
WHO. Mass gatherings. World Health Organization. 2021. Available from https://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/health-emergencies/coronavirus-covid-19/publications-and-technical-guidance/mass-gatherings/holding-gatherings-during-the-covid-19-pandemic-who-policy-brief,-2-august-2021.
Yezli S, Khan AA. The Jeddah tool. A health risk assessment framework for mass gatherings. Saudi Med J. 2020;41(2):121-2. doi: 10.15537/smj.2020.2.24875. [PubMed: 32020143].
Bieh KL, Khan A, El-Ganainy A, Alotaibi B, Ghallab S, Abdulmalek N, et al. Guidance for health risk assessment at recurrent mass gatherings: The Jeddah tool framework. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2021;36(3):348-53. doi: 10.1017/S1049023X21000145. [PubMed: 33632362].
Khan A, Bieh KL, El-Ganainy A, Ghallab S, Assiri A, Jokhdar H. Estimating the COVID-19 risk during the Hajj pilgrimage. J Travel Med. 2020;27(8):taaa157. doi: 10.1093/jtm/taaa157. [PubMed: 32889536].
Sharma U, Desikachari BR, Sarma S. Protocol for development of a risk assessment tool for planning and management of religious mass-gathering events of India—a health system-strengthening initiative. Pilot Feasibility Stud. 2019;5(1):1-9. doi: 10.1186/s40814-019-0464-z. [PubMed: 31293791].
Sharma U, Desikachari BR, Sarma S. Content validity of the newly developed risk assessment tool for religious mass gathering events in an Indian setting (Mass Gathering Risk Assessment Tool-MGRAT). J Family Med Prim Care. 2019;8(7):2207-11. doi: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_380_19. [PubMed: 31463231].
Turris SA, Lund A. Triage during mass gatherings. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2012;27(6):531-5. doi: 10.1017/S1049023X12001446. [PubMed: 23026028].
Cannon M, Roitman R, Ranse J, Morphet J. Development of a mass-gathering triage tool: an Australian perspective. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2017;32(1):101-5. doi: 10.1017/S1049023X16001242.