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  • Yaba's Infectious Disease Hospital personnel removes a body. Lagos, Nigeria. June 3, 2020.

    Yaba's Infectious Disease Hospital personnel removes a body. Lagos, Nigeria. June 3, 2020. | Photo: Twitter/@femiadegbulugbe

Published 9 June 2020
Opinion

The health authorities identified the deceased cause by performing autopsies and identifying symptoms after the cluster deaths.

Nigeria’s Health Minister Dr. Osagie Ehanire Monday informed his office that over 50 percent of non-determined deaths in Kano province in April were COVID related.

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“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 pre-existing ailments,” Dr. Ehanire stated in a press brief.

The health authorities identified the deceased cause by performing autopsies and identifying symptoms after the cluster deaths. As burials were conducted in the next morning, according to Muslim tradition, COVID testing on corpses was not conducted.

“With regard to unexplained deaths in Kano which occurred in April, the panel confirmed from graveyard records, that a total of 979 deaths were recorded in eight municipal areas,” Health Office leader explained.


In April, the government assured Kano’s deaths were not COVID related, affirming they were caused by malaria, diabetes, hypertension, and other diseases. 

“This was 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,’’ Ehanire explained.

According to international health bodies, Nigeria had an early response to the virus, given the nation’s pandemic management experience due to Ebola and other virus’ outbreaks. As Ehanire announced, community testing already initiated in Kano.

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