Kigali, Rwanda, April, 2020 -- Rwandan police said they have arrested five people who allegedly misused the COVID-19 toll-free helpline by calling for irrelevant purposes.
A number of the helpline's callers have been abusing call center attendants or giving false information about their symptoms, police spokesperson John Bosco Kabera said in an interview with Rwanda Television.
People who abuse the call center attendants, ask for money, or parents who let their children call the helpline should stop to avoid punitive measures, said Kabera.
The 144 hotline, which has the capacity to receive 90 callers at a time, was put in place by the country's health ministry to report emergency information about the novel coronavirus.
Over the last month, the helpline has received more than 360,000 calls, but only 16 percent of the callers reported information related to COVID-19, the Rwandan health ministry said Thursday.
At least five COVID-19 positive cases have been tracked down through the helpline, while 33 people who had been in contact with confirmed patients have also reported themselves through the helpline, it said.
So far, the central African country has registered 154 COVID-19 cases, including 87 recoveries.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
Published: Monday, April 27, 2020
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