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Strange deaths in Kano linked to COVID-19

Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, on Monday, June 8, 2020 said that 60 per cent of recent deaths recorded in Kano State had been linked to COVID-19 infection.

Dr. Osagie Ehanire
Dr. Osagie Ehanire, Health Minister

Ehanire made the disclosure in Abuja at the Presidential Taskforce (PTF) briefing on COVID-19 in Nigeria.

The over 150 deaths recorded in Kano State in the last few days prompted investigations to determine if the deaths could be traced to COVID-19.

He said that the ministry had received the report of the Ministerial Task Team which visited Kano to support the COVID-19 response with commodities, training, technical and confidence building measures.

The minister said that the visit was also meant to offer support to five other states, adding that the committee had developed a Strategic Incident Action Plan to strengthen the health workers’ capacity.

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Ehanire said it was observed that 50 to 60 per cent of persons above the age of 65 died of COVID-19 related cases while others died due to neglect or delay in treatment.

The minister added that about 979 strange deaths occurred in eight Municipal Area Councils of the state.

“The team confirmed from graveyard records, that a total of 979 deaths were recorded in 8 municipal LGA in the state at a rate of 43 deaths per day, with a peak in the second week of April.

“By the beginning of May, the death rate had reduced to the 11 deaths per day it used to be.  The verbal autopsy revealed that about 52 per cent of deaths had occurred at home while 38 per cent were in a hospital.

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“If circumstantial evidence are all to go by, investigation suggests that between 50-60 per cent of the deaths may have been triggered by or due to COVID-19 in the face of preexisting ailments. Most fatalities were over 65 years of age,” he explained.

NAN reports  that June 6 marked 100 days since the first confirmed case of COVID-19  was recorded in Nigeria, during which the country has witnessed and learnt a lot about the virus.

Within the 100 days, Nigeria have tested over 76,800 persons, recorded 12,486 confirmed COVID-19 cases in 35 states and FCT, successfully treated and discharged 3,959 persons, and recorded 354 deaths.

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By Abujah Racheal

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