Covid helpline of Odisha flooded with prank and lewd calls


Bhubaneswar: 104 helpline, meant for providing emergency call assistance to Covid patients, has also become a way of time pass for some persons.

In recent days, the call center is flooded with such calls, where some callers use slang and misbehave, make love appeal, ask personal questions, ask for mobile numbers to women tele-counsellors.

Whereas in many instances, it is kids of different age groups called the 104 number to sing songs and keep number engaged unnecessarily. Taking action over such frequent fake calls, Ziqitza Health Care Limited, the agency responsible for its operation in state has lodged an FIR recently on these numbers.

While this emergency number is running for Covid related support to people, some anti-social elements are calling the number as much as 400-500 times unnecessarily.

On this matter, Sabysachi Biswal, Head-Odisha, Ziqitza Health Care Limited said, “Due to these fake calls to 104 helpline number, many deserving genuine people looking for help suffers. Governments of Odisha has started 104 helpline number from 2020 to provide Covid-19 related services like counselling on testing, reporting, special medical related information as well as in the time of need this number help patients to get reach out to nearest covid hospital. But, from some time we saw, many anti-social elements have been using this number for time pass purpose, which not only put in trouble to the genuine people looking for help but also affects the morale of employees.”

Due to 104 helpline so many people of the state are getting emergency services. Few sick mentality persons making fake calls to put employees of the control room in trouble.

Due to their activities, some genuine patients failed to get the service.  They are regularly calling the numbers to keep it busy. According to data, from 2021 January to July, total 863515 numbers of call came to the helpline number out of which 367334 phone calls are fake ones.

These anti-social people are putting the life of the genuine patients in danger.