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General News of Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Source: Peace FM

Coronavirus: Stop the prank calls - Information Minister warns

Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has revealed that some people have hijacked the Covid-19 emergency lines to make ''prank calls''.

According to him, "some people dial the line just to test if it is working" and others call to make jokes; hence depriving people who need help from reaching the authorities.

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, government has advised Ghanaians who may reveal symptoms of the virus or have people who fall under such category to contact the emergency lines.

Such persons are to dial 112 and receive necessary tips to ensure they don't get others infected. Though 112 is to help curtail the spread of the virus, some unscrupulous persons are misusing the line.

In an interview with host Kwami Sefa Kayi on Peace FM's 'Kokrokoo', Mr. Oppong Nkrumah disclosed an overwhelming number of prank calls from January 2020 saying about 1.8 million calls were all made in jest.

''When they call and you pick up, they will tell you they were testing the number. Chairman, that is 99.16% . . .these were prank calls," he told the host.

He expressed utter disgust over the behaviour of some Ghanaians who do not see the seriousness of the emergency line.



"Here is the problem! If you call because you want to test the line, it means you're depriving people who really need help from reaching the emergency services," he pointed out.

Kojo Oppong Nkrumah is therefore pleading with people "joking with the 112 to stop immediately . . . in the 112 database, they had recorded 1.9 million calls from January to I think last week. Out of the 1.9 million phone calls, 1.8 are prank calls".

''If you call more than once and it's a prank call, we will block your line. What blocking your line means the day you will be in dire need of the emergency line, we won't pick up. We appeal to you to stop the prank calls to give opportunity to infected persons so that we can take their samples for testing to avoid everybody rushing to the hospitals,' he advised.

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