Zimbabwe telcos link up on COVID-19 hotline
Zimbabwe state-owned telecom companies NetOne and TelOne have joined other corporates in establishing the country’s COVID-19 hotline.
The telcos have also refurbished intensive care units at some state hospitals and upgraded other facilities as part of a joint resource mobilisation and health infrastructure funding effort.
Coronavirus has to date claimed the lives of four people in Zimbabwe, while confirmed infections have risen to 28, mainly concentrated in the two biggest cities, Harare and Bulawayo.
According to a statement released to the media, the two companies said they were also “bearing the cost of all calls from the public” terminating on their networks through the hotline and “donated 20 toll free lines and the requisite equipment to the National Emergency Operations Response Centre.”
Recently Liquid Telecom Zimbabwe, in partnership with Innscor Africa and Kamba Technologies, provided tech infrastructure, expertise and financial support to establish a dedicated national toll-free ‘2023’ helpline and call centre to relay information about COVID-19 to citizens.
NetOne and TelOne have also contributed into this initiative which will help capacitate the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting to set up the 2023 Call Centre to disseminate information about COVID-19 to the public.
The two telcos have been earmarked for partial privatisation, while Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube is of the view that they will be merged into one company to better attract investors.
Government sources told ITWeb Africa that this process will likely be delayed owing to the COVID-19 outbreak.