Panic as 150 people die of unknown causes within 3 days in Kano, Govt vows to investigate

No fewer than 150 people have died in Kano state of unknown ailment between Friday and Saturday last week, DailyTrust reports.

There are fears that the deceased must have died as a result of a strange ailment, amid the recent coronavirus outbreak.

According to the report, figure of the dead buried in the three cemeteries excludes other people buried in dozens of burial grounds in the eight local government areas that constitute Kano metropolis, though those working in such cemeteries said they did not notice anything unusual.

Also, authorities in Kano, community leaders, families of the deceased and medical officials have given different opinion on the matter.

Attendants and undertakers across the three cemeteries that witnessed unusual burials described the current regularity of burials in the city as unprecedented, urging the government to as a matter of urgency investigate to ascertain the real causes.

Speaking on the incident, the Kano State Ministry of Health yesterday, called for calm saying the ministry had already launched an investigation to unravel the real cause of the deaths in the state.

Also, speaking with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Tuesday in Kano, Dr Tijjani Hussaini, Executive Secretary, Kano State Primary Healthcare Board, told that medics were yet to ascertain the medical cause of the surge in deaths, but acknowledged that the situation had “sent residents panicking”.

“The investigation is prompted by reports that more deaths have been recorded in the past seven days.”

Hussaini said that the investigation was focusing on the symptoms exhibited by the victims before giving up.

“We want to know the number of persons already dead. We also want to investigate how they died.

“It is when we have a good idea; it is when we get the outcome of the findings that we can properly draw conclusions and brief the public,” he said.

The Commissioner for Health, Dr Aminu Tsanyawa, who also spoke with NAN, said that the ministry had embarked on clinical investigation to unravel the cause of the said deaths in Kano metropolis.

Tsanyawa advised residents of the metropolis not to panic, urging them to observe preventive measures and personal hygiene while complying with the stay-at-home order.

“The ministry is aware of social media reports insinuating mass deaths in the metropolis. We will soon address the issue,” he said.

Commenting on the situation, Prof. Isa Abubakar, Director, Centre for Infectious Diseases (CID), Bayero University Kano (BUK), said that the rising number of deaths recorded during the lockdown may not necessarily be linked to COVID-19 pandemic.

Abubakar, who is also an expert in Public Health and Community Medicine, added that the increasing rate of deaths could be attributed to other reasons.

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