COVID-19 call centre busy with over 200,000 daily calls in Myanmar

YANGON (Xinhua) – The government-initiated COVID-19 call centre has been busy with over 200,000 daily enquiry calls this month, Union Minister Myint Htwe for Health and Sports said yesterday.

His ministry established a 24-hour call centre for enquiries related to the COVID-19 pandemic on April 9 during the early stage of the coronavirus outbreak in Myanmar which started on March 23.

Currently, 60 healthcare professionals are available to answer the enquiry calls from 8am to 8pm local time and the call centre is running with the auto-answer system in after-service hours, the minister said.

According to the ministry’s figures, the number of daily enquiry calls has risen to over 200,000 this month, from between 30,000 and 60,000 in previous months.

The call centre received calls mostly from the Yangon, Ayeyarwady, Sagaing, Mandalay, and Magway regions and the Rakhine state so far.

About 43 per cent of the calls were from rural areas and the call centre also received calls from far-flung areas, the minister said in his message.

The daily enquiry calls are believed to increase in number due to the sharp rise of COVID-19 infections in the second wave that hit the country on August 16.

It was learnt that the Health and Sports Ministry and the Information Ministry have been cooperating to arrange a weekly question-and-answer televised programme of COVID-19 related information for the public.

As of late Tuesday, Myanmar reported 12,425 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 284 deaths, the ministry’s data showed.