The death of 589 people, being the 60% of the “mysterious” deaths in Nigeria’s northern Kano state was triggered by or due to COVID-19, Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, has declared as he gave graphical details of deaths between April and May.
Ehanire, a Medical Doctor, who declared this during a press conference in Abuja, Nigeria’s administrative capital, noted that the peak in deaths occurred in the second week of April, and that by the beginning of May, the death rate had gone back down to the normal rate.
Giving the report of an investigation conducted by a team drafted to Kano over the mysterious death, the minister said that it was found that a “total of 979 deaths were recorded in eight municipal local government areas in Kano state at a rate of 43 deaths per day, compared with the typical death rate of roughly 11 deaths per day.”
Out of this number, 50-60% of the deaths may have been triggered by or due to COVID-19, he declared.
The Nigeria’s task force on COVID-19 sent a team to the northern economic hub in late April to investigate and conduct “verbal autopsies” after local newspaper the Daily Trust reported a spike in deaths to around 150 people in Kano city.
“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,” Ehanire said, noting that investigation “found a total of 979 deaths were recorded in eight municipal local government areas in Kano state at a rate of 43 deaths per day, compared with the typical death rate of roughly 11 deaths per day.”
The Kano state government had said the deaths were caused by complications from hypertension, diabetes, meningitis and acute malaria and not the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kano state entered a lockdown in April to stem the spread of the virus. The federal government said this month it would ease the lockdown.