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Mass deaths ‘not COVID-19-related’, says Kano

The Kano State Government has acknowledged and decried the rising death rates in the state capital but declared that none was caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Muhammad Garba
Malam Muhammad Garba, Kano State Commissioner of Information

Malam Muhammad Garba, the Commissioner of Information, gave the clarifications in a statement in Kano, the state capital, on Sunday, April 26, 2020.

“The state government acknowledges recent deaths in Kano, but it is on top of the situation. We have begun investigation to unravel the remote causes of the deaths.

“The investigation into the cause of the deaths is still ongoing, but preliminary report of the state’s Ministry of Health indicates that the deaths are not connected to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Reports from the ministry have shown that most of the deaths were caused by complications arising from hypertension, diabetes, meningitis and acute malaria.

“Gov. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje is anxiously waiting for the final report so as to take necessary action.

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“The state government is concerned over what is happening. The ministry of health is already handling the situation. When they are through with the medical investigation, further actions will be taken.

“The mystery, or whatever it is, will soon be unraveled,” he said.

Garba added that Ganduje had demonstrated the zeal and political will to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

“The Ganduje administration has been commended from within and outside the state over the proactive measures it took towards curbing the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This explains why Kano, in spite of being the most populace state, did not record a case of the pandemic until lately.

“Though we agree that the situation at hand is very serious, we are not resting on our oars in taking appropriate measures to ensure that people of Kano State protect themselves from the novel COVID-19 pandemic,” he stated.

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He listed measures in place to contain the spread of the virus to include the ongoing lockdown, closure of borders, aggressive campaign for social distancing, washing and sanitising of hands, as well as strict adherence to, and practice of, the principles of personal hygiene.

Garba added that the government, through the Kano COVID-19 Fund-Raising Committee, had been making palliatives available to the most vulnerable and the needy in the society.

According to him, the state government has established three Isolation Centres where those that had tested positive to COVID-19 are being cared for, while plans are underway to set up two more.

Garba said that the state government had also rented a hotel where suspected cases were being accommodated.

He said that government was collaborating with​ Bayero University, Kano to establish a testing centre within the institution, stating that the facility would be ready in two weeks time.

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“The facility will be ready immediately it is certified by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

“When it is put to use, our determination to ensure that every suspected case is quickly tested will be enhanced,” he said.

The commissioner said that Ganduje had appealed to the Federal Government to urgently fix the NCDC testing centre at Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital shut down some days ago.

“We have enough medical manpower that can take care of the patients. What we are asking for is financial assistance from the Federal Government and other donors to help sustain the infrastructure and also continue the provision of palliatives,” he said.

The commissioner urged the people of the state to remain calm and not panic as government was “on top of the situation”.

By Rabiu Sani

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