Calls for medical advice increase as number of coronavirus patients grows

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Medical professionals offering advice through telemedicine are seeing an explosion of calls because of the pandemic. 

The number of calls has skyrocketed in just the past few weeks, said Dr. Krisda Chaiyachati, medical director at Penn Medicine On Demand. 

He added that most of the questions concern COVID-19.

“The beginning of the month, we were probably averaging 50 to 60 calls a day. I think right now, we’re breaking 400 calls per day easily, and honestly as the pandemic rises and the rates of sniffles, coughs and flu-like conditions continue to rise, we’re having an astronomical rise in the number of calls to match that,” he said. 

In order to handle all those calls 24/7, he’s had to increase the number of medical professionals. 

A few weeks ago, he had a staff of around 16. That number is now more than 200, which he said it’s similar to building a small company in just a few days.