By Hassan Zaggi
Five hundred and eighty seven (equivalent to 60 per cent) of the 979 the deaths recorded in Kano in April were triggered by COVID-19.
The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, disclosed this on Monday during the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 media briefing, in Abuja.
The total deaths were recorded in 8 municipal local government areas of the state.
He explained that: “With regard to unexplained deaths in Kano which occurred in April, 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 56% of deaths had occurred at home while 38% were in a hospital.
“With circumstantial evidence as all to go by, investigation suggests that between 50-60% 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 disclosed that his ministry received the report of the Ministerial Task Team that went to Kano to support the COVID-19 response with commodities, training, technical and confidence building measures.
The visit , he said, was extended to fact finding excursions to offer support to five other states.
According to him, with the observations and recommendations from the three week assignment, the committee developed a Strategic Incident Action Plan to strengthen coordination capacity of the health workers and improve community engagement in line with our response plan.
“While over 150 health workers had been infected at the time of their arrival, there was no report of an infection among health workers who had received training on infection prevention and control, thus restoring confidence.
“The intervention of the ministerial task force has been a game changer for Kano and some northern States,” he noted.