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GBV and mental health calls increase amid lockdown

Nearly one in five people who have tested positive for Covid-19 are diagnosed with a mental illness. Photo Pexels

Nearly one in five people who have tested positive for Covid-19 are diagnosed with a mental illness. Photo Pexels

Published May 20, 2020

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DURBAN - According to the

World Health Organization

The command centre’s data shows that, in the first four days of South Africa’s three-week lockdown, the number of daily calls doubled.

"The number of gender-based violence (GBV) distress calls shot up from 12000 to almost 80 000 since the first week of the shutdown. The number of interactions we’re receiving through the lines are astronomical during this time of restricted movement. The daily interaction rate has increased tremendously and the volume of calls is 10 times higher,” said Lifeline SA chief executive Molefi Takalo.

According to the Department of Social Development, data-free messages to the centre’s phone number increased more than ten-fold and SMSs streamed in at double the usual daily rate too. By April 22, the centre has received 12 702 calls since the start of lockdown.

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