Bizarre! Pranksters flirt with COVID-19 helpline staff in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: Idle mind is devil’s workshop. Ostensibly, the lockdown has brought the devilish side of the human mind to the fore.

With COVID-19 pandemic gradually making inroads in Odisha, the 104 health helpline set up by Odisha Government for foreign returnees to register themselves is busy attending to prank calls these days.

As per audio recordings available with Sambad English, rogue elements are dialing the health helpline number to pull a prank on them. 

The state Government is urging people to stay indoors and maintain hygiene to contain the spread of the deadly virus which has claimed over 600 lives in India and over 1.71 lakh worldwide. However, some twisted minds don’t get the seriousness of the matter and make fun of others engaged in serious business.

We bring you some of the cases for you to judge:

CASE I

Caller to woman call centre executive: A person is corona affected in our village and people have started thrashing him.

Executive: How did you know that the person is corona positive? Dial 100 and report it to the police.
Caller: Suna Mu Tuma Ku Bhala Paye (Listen, I love you). I like you.
Executive: Wait for a while. You will get a call from local police station. Your telephone number and location has been registered with us.
Caller: No… No… No…

CASE II

Anonymous dialer to woman call centre executive: Hi! What’s your name? Tell me what’s your name (insistently)?
Executive: This is 104 helpline number. How may I help you?
Caller: Please tell me your name.
Executive: This is health helpline number. Do you seek any health-related advice?
Caller: I am coughing. What do I need to do?
Executive: We will transfer the call to a doctor. You can speak to him directly regarding your health issue.
Caller: Please tell your name, madam (giggles) and goes on asking repeatedly.

CASE III:

Caller: Madam Namaskar. My problem is that while I was tempering (tadka/chhaunk), I sneezed and phlegm came out. I am frightened (laughs)
Executive: Speak to doctor for advice.
Caller: Give your number.

Besides flirting with the tele executives, callers made ghost calls too.

CASE IV:

Executive: Hello! This is 104 helpline. How may I help you?
Caller: Hello! Come to Khordha. Someone died here.

CASE V:

Executive: This is health helpline number. Please tell your issue.
Caller: Morning morning. Where is your home?

Police sources said such hoax calls on the helpline have been received from multiple phone numbers. And many of the pranksters have dialed the helpline for 50 to over 150 times.

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