The Emergency Call Centre of Ghana has recorded 1,902,926 calls between late January and mid-March and out of it 1,887,125 were prank related calls, the Communication Ministry has revealed.
In a statement, the Ministry said the prank calls represent 99.16% which defeats the purpose of the centre.
In order to curb the worrying practice, the Ministry said: “From 27th March, 2020, all prank callers will be blocked to get Ghana’s emergency system to work effectively. It is the most practical way of ensuring that those in need of help, get it.”
Below is the full statement:
As the country intensifies its effort to reduce the spread of COVID – 19 and to improve Ghana’s emergency response rate, the emergency number 112 has been set up to facilitate assistance to all in need.
Access to this line is however being hampered by the incessant prank calling of some unscrupulous callers. Currently, Prank calls to the emergency number cover more than 95% of the call traffic.
Between 28th January, 2020 – 16th March, 2020, the 112 emergency call centre recorded a total of One Million, nine hundred and two thousand, nine hundred and twenty-six calls (1,902,926).
Of this number 1,887,125 were prank related calls with only 15,801 being real emergency related calls. That meant, 99.16% of cases within that period were prank calls.
Over the period, many Ghanaians have had a reason to complain about their inability to get through the call centre number. With 99.16% of the calls being prank related, real emergency cases are not getting through for the needed attention.
From 27th March, 2020, all prank callers will be blocked to get Ghana’s emergency system to work effectively. It is the most practical way of ensuring that those in need of help, get it.
We urge all citizens to support our collective drive to succeed and not to prank 112 as real lives might be in danger, including those who need help to deal with the coronavirus pandemic. We will continue to educate people on the need not to prank
Sandra Frimpong, (Communications Specialist)