The COVID-19 came into sight in Wuhan just 1 month prior to the spring festival of China and a huge population movement during this period caused significant challenges for prevention and controlled the spread of infections. Therefore, it spread out rapidly from Hubei to whole China. The COVID-19 can transmit from human to human, and no effective drug has been invented yet. The most efficient preventive and control ways are to identify suspected and confirmed patients and keep them isolated while, personal protection as means of hygienic practice must be taken. Hence, increasing protective measures and awareness building are an important measure adapted and suggested by health practitioners and authorities to reduce and prevent the high transmission rate of this deadly virus.
In our study, the analytical method produced robust results and confirmed that the students’ satisfaction found as a meaningful partial mediator. The results from the PLS-SEM analyses showed that- a large amount of the variance in the endogenous construct trust (80%) is explained by the three constructs of preventive and supportive measures taken by students and respective authorities, personal awareness-building and students’ satisfaction. Trust over government has long been considered as a vital factor of citizens’ compliance with public health policies, particularly during epidemic conditions which is endorsed by the previous study of Blair et al.  and documented that that supportive measures and policies taken by the Liberia government to control the Ebola virus disease epidemic were positively associated with gaining public trust over authorities.
In terms of the strength of the relationships, the PLS-SEM model revealed a strong and significant relationship between preventive and supportive measures taken by students and/or provided by the respective institutions or authorities lead to trust over authorities (0.381) (Fig. 2; Table 5). The possible explanation could be during this pandemic Chinese central and local governments has taken several effective measures promptly. Such as, Chinese health authorities did an urgent investigation in the most affected areas to rapidly characterize the disease and patient intending to keep confirmed and suspected patients in strict isolation, examining of clinical contact status of the patients, and developing rapid diagnostic and treatment processes .
In line with this, on January 23, 2020, the local authorities of Wuhan declared the suspension of all kinds of public transportation, including highways, bus stations, railway stations and airports in the city, preventing further disease transmission. Consequently, most of the provinces in China declared a “Level I Emergency Response” by adopting a series of measures followed by Wuhan strategies. Furthermore, several compulsory measures like restrict mobility, prohibited mass gatherings, shutdown school, were taken place alongside online schooling and working-from-home were encouraged and forced with a view to decreasing the public transmission .
The PLS-SEM model revealed a strong and significant relationship between personal awareness and means of gaining trust over authorities (0.131) (Fig. 2; Table 5). In this regard Chinese government tried to increase public awareness through publicizing regular updates about surveillance and confirmed cases on different websites and social media . in line with this psychologists and psychiatrists using the internet and social media (e.g., WeChat, Weibo, etc.) to make aware of the public dealing with psychological stress. An expert from Peking University Sixth Hospital of China made several suggestions for the general people to manage mental stress. These involved judging the accuracy of information disclosed, developing social support systems (e.g., friends and families), eradicating stigma linked with the epidemic, maintaining a healthy life under safe conditions, and using the psychosocial service system, mainly telephone- and internet-based counselling for health-care staff, infected patients, family members and the public .
Satisfaction depends on whether one has sympathy for what the authorities do and whether one thinks, what the authorities are doing is good for society. Previous studies documented that a positive relationship remains between satisfaction and trust over the government [32, 33].
The present study found a strong relationship between students’ satisfaction and trust in authorities (Fig. 2; Table 5). The possible reason behind this may be the international students living in China during COVID-19 found their respective institutions and relevant authorities did their best to control this pandemic and trying to keep them safe from being infected.
Despite our enormous efforts, our study has some limitations. It is possible that communal desirability apprehensions can lead the responses to our questionnaire with some extend of misperception. We reduced these concerns by avoiding the use of a brief discussion and pilot test. Moreover, our findings are not considered identical because the respondents of our study are only foreign students. Most notably, we found some extensive-expression of conspiracy belief in our prospective set of respondents who has some extend of obligatory for the institutions and authorities. So, there might be some biased responses. We tried to minimize this by a close discussion with some respondents and compiled those in our analysis. The linkage between satisfaction and trust in terms of such epidemics has limited empirical pieces of evidence, and the interconnection is relatively complex. Lastly, future researchers should investigate whether these findings vary in various situations and country settings. In this study, we do not test these variants in fear of losing focus on our core objectives and it could lead theoretically assorted treatment based on sources satisfaction and trust, which needs further statistical analysis. Notwithstanding these limits, this is the first study on COVID-19, which used SEM to assess behaviour change.
Not surprisingly, the findings of our study triggered a positive relationship between preventive and supportive measures towards shaping the satisfaction level and eventually building trust in institutions. The results are entirely parallel with the findings of Aristovnik et al. and Paek et al. [34, 35] that the awareness building is a predictor to gain the satisfaction of any individuals, any institutions can gain trust and quantify students’ satisfaction by practicing the awareness building, as stated by Valenzuela et al. , which is also proved by our studies hypothesis test. According to Prati et al. , it is quite evident if any person has a certain amount of satisfaction over any course of action of institutions, he or she might have been possessed a particular course of trust over the institutions, which is one of the prime findings of our study too.