Governor Abdullahi Ganduje
Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State has faulted the report by the Federal Government that over 50 per cent of the about 1,000 deaths recorded in the state in April were associated with COVID-19.
It was earlier reported that the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, at a Presidential Task Force briefing in Abuja, said a total of 979 people died as a result of strange illnesses in Kano over a five-week period.
The minister had 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% of the deaths occurred at home while 38% were in the hospital. The investigation suggests that 50% to 60% of the deaths may have been triggered by or due to COVID-19.”
But reacting on Tuesday, Ganduje said only 15% of the deaths were COVID-19-related.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Abba Anwar, the governor said a report by the Case of Mortality Committee in the state revealed otherwise.
According to him, 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 % 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.”
The governor noted that the report would be communicated to the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.); the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha; and the Health Minister.