23,000 calls to COVID-19 hotline, Ministry to add strength
The Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 hotline has fielded 23,000 calls within three days of being operational. Of the 23,000, 100 calls qualified as genuine referrals for follow up testing.
Line Minister Terrence Deyalsingh explained that despite the ratio, there is value in having the hotline as a resource.
“Because of the need for the hotline and the success of the hotline, we will be expanding it now from 10 doctors to 18 doctors within a couple of days so we can handle more calls and get more genuine referrals so we can test them and prevent community spread,” he said.
Deyalsingh made the announcement in a media conference after the first case of local transmission was confirmed.
Yesterday government officials lamented that people were misusing the hotline, revealing that someone called to find out whether they could change their flight information with the doctor’s help.
The number for the hotline is 877-WELL (9355). Upon announcing the launch of the hotline, Deyalsingh asked that people only contact the hotline for COVID-19 related queries only, and only after they have self-screened for the disease using other sources of information available to them.
Those members of the public with a medical emergency unrelated to COVID-19 are asked to call 811 where they will be directed to a hospital.