Basseterre, St. Kitts, May 08, 2020 (SKNIS)
Emergency officials wrestling with the complexities of managing the coronavirus pandemic and balancing the reopening of the economy in St. Kitts and Nevis can ill afford to be distracted. However, that is exactly what happened over the past 24 hours with the 911 hotline.Abdias Samuel, Chairman of the National COVID-19 Task Force, reported on Thursday (May 07, 2020) that over the past 24 hours there were a total of 136 calls to 911. Seventy-seven of the calls or 56 percent were prank calls.
911 is to be used only for police, fire and medical (ambulance) emergencies. “I want to make an appeal to all individuals who are carrying out these prank calls to cease from doing so,” Mr Samuel said at the National Emergency Operation Centre COVID-19 Daily Briefing on May 7.
Chairman Samuel added that officials are still dealing with a pandemic and fake calls are a source of frustration to the telecom operators who have to filter information to pass on to law enforcement, fire teams or emergency medical technicians. In some cases, a timely response can be the difference between life and death.
“Just imagine, by you taking one minute to make a prank call, that one minute could have caused someone their life. That is not right and such acts we must condemn,” the chairman added.
Superintendent of Police, Cromwell Henry, warned against persons making prank calls, noting that it was illegal. In recent days, police have cracked down on a number of offences that are contrary to public safety, particularly as is relates to actions that can undermine efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19.
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