Home South African Stop prank-calling the coronavirus hotline, says NICD

Stop prank-calling the coronavirus hotline, says NICD

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'We have recorded a high number of prank calls, and we wish to urge the public to desist from such behaviour.'

Photo: Reuters

Cape Town – The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) has urged members of the public to stop prank calling the Covid-19 public hotline number. 

“We have recorded a high number of prank calls, and we wish to urge the public to desist from such behaviour as it takes away resources from those who need them the most,” said the NICD in a statement released on Wednesday.

After the NICD has received 324 062 calls on the hotline number, it has added two additional hotline numbers.   

Clinicians can now contact the new clinicians’ hotline number on 0800 11 1131, which is reserved for doctors only. Members of the public can also call 0800 111 132. All the hotline numbers operate 24 hours a day. 

NICD has called on people to only contact the hotline and get tested if they experience symptoms such as coughing, sneezing and fever and have travelled to high risk areas  

The total confirmed cases for coronavirus in South Africa stands at 116, with most of the cases are accounted in the Gauteng Province with over 52% representation. 

President Cyril Ramaphosa has urged South Africans to stop panic buying in the wake of the coronavirus.

Ramaphosa was meeting with leaders of political leaders in Tuynhuys on Wednesday to discuss measures to crackdown on the virus and welcomed the support of all 14 parties in Parliament to work with the government.

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** If you think you have been exposed to the Covid-19 virus, please call the 24-hour hotline on 0800 029 999