Health Authorities in the Ashanti Region have warned that it will track and arrest anyone who engages in prank calls in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak.
The Regional Health Directorate has expressed worry that some members of the general public make prank calls with the emergency lines put out to receive information on suspected Coronavirus cases.
A prank call, also known as a crank call, is a telephone call intended by the caller as a practical joke played on the answering person. It is also referred by others as a type of nuisance call.
Ashanti Regional Director of the Ghana Health Service, Dr Emmanuel Tenkorang speaking at a news conference in Kumasi said members of the public engaging in such acts will be dealt with by the security agencies.
“We are pleading. This is so serious. If we get anybody doing that we have to report the person to the security agencies for them to be dealt with. This is not the time to joke at all. If you know there is no COVID-19 case and you call us, we will hand you over to the security agencies.”
Fire service seeks BNI, National Security support to arrest prank callers
Early this year the Ashanti Regional Command of the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) took a tough stance against persons who make prank calls to its emergency lines.
The situation is not peculiar to the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) as the police have also had the cause to complain about such behaviour by a section of the public.
The trend, though not an exception for fire officers in the Ashanti Region, it is on the ascendency as 42 of such calls were recorded in 2019 as against seven in 2018.
The Public Relations Officer of the Ashanti Regional branch of the Ghana National Fire Service, ADO1 Ackah Desmond Essoun said it is unfortunate to have them move a fire tender with the blurring siren and on top speed just to realize there is no fire outbreak after getting to a particular scene.
He said prank calls continue to pose a challenge to the operations of fire officers in the region and bold steps have been taken to ensure that the trend is halted completely.
According to him, the command is collaborating with the Bureau of National Investigation (BNI) and the National Security to track, arrest and prosecute persons engaging in such activities.
This he said will serve as a deterrent to other members of the public who will want to engage in similar acts.
“One thing that we have realized as a challenge now is the public. Some of them play with our emergency lines. We will throw a caution that thisv time around since everybody has registered his or her number, when you call and then you play pranks with our lines, we will give your details to the National Security and the BNI and then they will do the needful by arresting and prosecuting you,” he warned.
He indicated that such persons will also have their pictures and the details of the crime committed published in the national dailies and other news portals in order to deter others from engaging in the act.