Sani Gwarzo, national coordinator of the presidential task force on COVID-19, says coronavirus is behind mass deaths in Kano.
The state has recorded an unusual increase in deaths since it recorded its first coronavirus case in April.
Abdullahi Ganduje, the governor, had denied that the deaths were linked to COVID-19, saying investigation was ongoing.
He also announced that after consultation with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), the government had agreed on “verbal autopsy” to ascertain the cause of the deaths.
But speaking with reporters in Kano on Sunday, Gwarzo, who also lost his father during the period that Kano recorded a high number of deaths, said investigation had shown that COVID-19 is responsible for some of the deaths.
“Let me inform us that most of the deaths recorded of recent and test carried out showed that coronavirus was the cause,” he said.
“So, before the final report which would be ready in the next one week or few days, it is necessary for people of Kano to wake up from their slumber that this is a serious issue.
“We need to know what is happening we are successful in identifying what the problems are and secondly we are happy on the level of cooperation the private sector and other stake holders. Many people have come out to support the state we cannot expand our investigation until we are certain.
“We have five cogent reasons to say that the mass death recorded in Kano is associated with coronavirus.”
He listed them as the age of the deceased persons, concentration of the people in one place and “test we have constructed which have element of COVID-19”.
Gwarzo spoke during the official presentation and handing over of the mobile testing laboratory the Aliko Dangote Foundation donated to Kano government.
Yusuf Yau Gambo, a lecturer at the department of mathematics, Yusuf Maitama Sule University in Kano, had earlier linked the strange deaths to COVID-19.
Gambo, who had carried out a “community-based survey on increased mortality in Kano state,” said 41.3 percent of those who died in the state during the period had fever — one of the symptoms of COVID-19.
The survey of the applied mathematician and data analyst was based on a very small sample size of 260 households from over 17 local government areas.
There are 313 COVID-19 cases in Kano which has the second highest number of coronavirus patients in Nigeria.
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