Covid-19 Hotline Not Yet Operational – CMO
A Covid-19 hotline, with seven lines, has been announced by the Prime Minister, but the service is apparently not yet ready for use by the public.
Speaking at the National Hero’s gathering at Dorsetshire Hill this morning, March 14, Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves stated that 534-4325 (HEAL) is the assigned number for the Covid-19 hotline.
The Prime Minister also said that Government is arranging for a second hotline number with another service provider. “Yesterday the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health (Cuthbert Knights) signed an agreement with the second telecoms provider for another telephone number, with additional lines.
“An announcement will be made on that number very shortly,” he informed.
He stated that persons could call this number if they are experiencing a problem, advising “You don’t have to go and overburden the clinic, you don’t have to go and overburden the hospital. Make the call, and you’d be given the relevant advice.”
However, calls made by SEARCHLIGHT to the 24/7 hotline have gone unanswered.
Additionally, SEARCHLIGHT knows of one case of a person who recently travelled and is now ill. This person, although they do not believe their symptoms to be that of the Covid-19, stated that they tried to call the hotline for hours but was unable to get through.
They also called the hospital, who referred them to the hotline once more. They have now decided to give up.
On Saturday evening, SEARCHLIGHT reached out to Chief Medical Officer Dr Simone Keizer-Beache who advised that the hotline is still being piloted internally, and will be up and running in the upcoming week.
She apologized for any miscommunication and asked that persons in need of assistance or information in relation to Covid-19 contact their district hospitals.
The telephone numbers of the various district hospitals have been published on the SVG Health Facebook page and in the Flow telephone directory.