Emergency Management Southland has experienced a ‘‘marked increase’’ in the number of calls received during Covid-19 lockdown duty controller Angus McKay says.
On average, the EMS team had been receiving about 20 calls daily from people needing extra assistance or information.
Some were from pensioners who had been diverted to them from the Ministry of Social Development.
Needs varied and some were “complex”, he said.
‘‘From a welfare point of view, it’s about local people helping local people. If you know someone older, give them a ring and check-in with them.’’
Last week, duty controller Simon Mapp said calls included people needing assistance with groceries, appliance repairs and prescriptions.
He said due to the type of emergency, it would affect people who may never have found themselves in the position of needing to ask for help.
The welfare team was working closely with existing community organisations, including food banks and volunteer services, who already have established networks.
“Its important that our whole community pulls together to support each other, which is what Southland always does,” Mr Mapp said.
Otago Daily Times