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…denies link of 50 per cent of mass death relates to COVID-19

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KANO State government has picked holes in the report by the Federal Government that over 50 per cent of about 1,000 mass deaths recorded in the state in April were COVID-19 related.

  Governor Ganduje’s Chief Press Secretary, Abba Anwar, while reacting to the claim by the FG in a statement on Tuesday said that a report by the Case of Mortality Committee in the state revealed otherwise.

  He said that the COVID-19 disease might have contributed in 15.9 per cent of the cases of mortality but that is within the limitations of the verbal autopsy method that cannot provide confirmation.

  According to Anwar, the report partly read, “A retrospective study of mortalities was conducted over approximately 2-weeks (27th April – 15th May 2020); across 8 metropolitan LGAs (Gwale, Fagge, Tarauni, Kumbotso, Ungogo, Nassarawa, Kano Municipal and Dala).

  “COVID-19 might have contributed in 15.9 per cent of the cases of mortality but within the limitations of the verbal autopsy method that cannot provide confirmation. Some deaths may be related to disruption of medical care and socio-economic activities due to fear of contracting COVID-19, which usually happen during epidemics.

 “If the mysterious deaths were COVID-19 related, the deaths could have come more from local governments that have more COVID-19 cases,” he concluded.

  Anwar’s reaction came after the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, at a Presidential Task Force briefing in Abuja, said that a total of 979 people died as a result of strange illnesses in Kano over a five-week period.

  During the briefing, Ehanire said; “With regards to the unexplained deaths which occurred in Kano over a five-week period, the team confirmed that a total of 979 deaths were actually recorded in eight Municipal Local Government Areas in the state and at a time at the rate of 43 deaths per day as measured by counting activities at the graveyard.

  “The verbal autopsy revealed that about 56 per cent of the deaths occurred at home while 38 per cent were in the hospital. The investigation suggests that 50 per cent to 60 per cent of the deaths may have been triggered by or due to COVID-19,” he added.

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