Citizen Reporter
1 minute read
15 Mar 2020
1:39 pm

Government sets up Covid-19 WhatsApp info group, along with hotline

Citizen Reporter

Communications are a key component in fighting the spread of the disease, so play your part.

Picture: iStock

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) has set up a hotline number after the minister of health confirmed 14 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday afternoon. Another 13 cases were confirmed on Sunday morning.

Government has also called on South Africans to help protect their loved ones by sharing the official South African government Covid-19 WhatsApp service with your family, friends and community.

Send the word ‘HI’ to 0600 123 456 on WhatsApp.


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South Africa has now seen a total number of coronavirus-positive patients sit at 51.

NICD spokesperson Sinenhlanhla Jimoh said the hotline number was 0800 029 999.

“The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) has set up a 24-hour hotline number for all South African citizens,” Jimoh said.

She said family members who required more information about their loved ones could contact Dirco on the following contact details:

Email address: or

Telephone number: 012-351-1754.

On 7 January, the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 was identified as a new virus, which is a family of viruses that include the common cold, and other viruses such as MERS.

On 30 January the WHO declared the novel coronavirus a public health emergency of international concern and South Africa activated its Emergency Operations Centre (EOC).

The WHO has since been working with Chinese authorities and global experts to learn more about the virus and how it affects people who are sick.

The WHO and various authorities have been working on how they can treat the virus.

“The situation around the Covid-19 is still evolving,” said Jimoh.

“Citizens will be updated as new information becomes available.”

(Compiled by Charles Cilliers)

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