The Federal Government has revealed details of the investigation on strange deaths in Kano state.
Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, speaking during the briefing by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 on Monday, said an investigation carried out by the special team sent to the state revealed that 50 to 60 percent of the deaths were associated with COVID-19.
The minister explained that most of the fatalities were over 65 years old and more than half of the deaths occurred at home.
He said: “This morning the federal ministry of health received the report of the ministerial task force team that went to support the Kano government in the COVID-19 response with commodity, ambulances, trainings.
“The visit turned out to be a game-changer and improved the indices for Kano.
“Many of the health workers, over 50 have been infected at the time of the arrival of the team but after they conducted their training on infection, prevention and control, there was no report of infection among the health workers who have received training.
“With regard to the unexplained death that occured in Kano, the team confirmed that a total of 979 deaths were recorded in eight municipal local areas of the state at the rate of 43 deaths per day.
“By the end of April the number has started to reduce and have now settled to 11 deaths per day.
“The verbal autopsy revealed that 56 percent of the deaths had occurred at home while 38 were in the hospital.
“The investigation suggests that 50-60 may have been triggered by COVID-19 in the face of pre existing illness, a significant part was also triggered by inability to access routine care at the time due to the scare of COVID-19. Most of the fatalities were over 65 years old.”
Ehanire added that COVID-19 cases are on the rise as a result of community transmission which in turn has led to aggressive testing.
He said: “Since our entry inter-community transmission stage, we have seen more figures rising and has caused us to be more aggressive in tracking and testing and increasing our laboratory network capacity from two to 30 molecular laboratories with a plan to have at least one laboratory in every state.
“This way, the turn around time will be reduced to a minimum and case finding will run smoothly.”