Kano State government has finally responded to the people’s agitations and concerns over reported mass deaths of people in the state.
Daily Trust gathered that the state government has begun verbal autopsy to ascertain the possible causes of the deaths and to enable the authorities to take the necessary measure toward ending the problem.
The government’s adoption of the verbal autopsy was made known by the Deputy Coordinator of Kano State COVID-19 Response Team, Dr Sabitu Shu’aibu.
He stated that the government had earlier put up a system to investigate if there was a link between COVID-19 and the deaths, adding that the system came up with the verbal autopsy method.
“Kano State government has begun house-to-house engagement with families of those that have died to carefully administer questions on the symptoms exhibited by the victims before they died.
“This is what is termed clinically as verbal autopsy and it will allow the health professionals to predict the possible causes of the recorded deaths,” he said.
Similarly, Dr Usman Bashir of Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital (AKTH), stated that in an environment where an autopsy is not conducted due to some issues and when the dead had already been buried, a verbal autopsy is the best way to go.
He noted that it is apparent that such deaths must be recorded because all attention is presently focused on the epidemic while other sicknesses are neglected.
He stressed that the adoption of the verbal autopsy would unravel the mystery of the mass deaths.
“The verbal autopsies would surely unravel things that we are not even looking at because we have overstretched our energy and resources on COVID-19.
“It is a very good way of ascertaining the epidemic at hand or it could be that we are also experiencing another ongoing epidemic.
“Moreover, in an epidemic, one has to work with rumour and suspicion and any observation of people should be taken seriously and also investigated scientifically,” said Dr Usman.
Situation is getting tougher – Ganduje
Kano State governor, Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, has stated that the COVID-19 situation in the state is getting tougher but assured that his administration is 100% committed to seeing an end to the pandemic.
“I will like to inform you that the situation is getting tougher and tougher; the situation is getting serious, and serious and very serious. But equally the same, we are determined. They say when the journey is tough only the tough can keep on moving. We assure you we will keep on moving until we see to the end of this deadly disease with the help of Allah (SWA),” he said.
Ganduje added that the state government has devised some measures such as boundary closure to curb the spread of the virus in the state. “Our borders continue to be blocked because this is the only way that we can limit inter-state transportation and getting infection from outside. We are happy that the northern state governors decided to lockdown for the next two weeks so all our borders are locked and they continue to be locked.
The governor also admitted that in terms of curative measures the state was facing some challenges. “In respect of the curative aspect, there is no doubt we have challenging problems. So far we have three types of isolation centres; we have one isolation centre which is in a hotel where we keep those whose samples have been taken and they are awaiting results. They remain in the hotel in individual rooms and when they are found negative they move to their homes, but when they are found to be positive we take them to the next level of isolation centre, “he said.
‘Mysterious Deaths’: Kano govt reacts
Kano State government on Sunday acknowledged recent deaths in Kano, assuring that it is on top of the situation as Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has already directed the Ministry of Health to conduct a thorough investigation into the immediate and remote causes of the deaths.
In a statement made available to journalists in Kano, the Commissioner of Information, Malam Muhammad Garba, said although an investigation into the cause of the deaths is still ongoing, a preliminary report from the state Ministry of Health indicated that the deaths were not connected to the COVID-19 pandemic.
He added that reports from the state Ministry of Health showed that most of the deaths were caused by complications arising from hypertension, diabetes, meningitis and acute malaria.
He further stated that Governor Ganduje was earnestly waiting for the final report from the Ministry of Health for necessary action.
According to him, the governor from the onset, demonstrated the zeal and political will to curb the spread of the COVID-19 in the state.
“Governor Ganduje’s administration has been commended from within and outside the state over the proactive measures it took towards curbing the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This explains why Kano, apart from being the most populous state, did not record any case of the pandemic until lately.
Though we agree that the situation on hand is serious, we are not resting on our oars in taking appropriate measures to ensure that the good people of Kano State, and indeed, residents in the state protect themselves from the novel COVID-19 pandemic,” he stated.
He noted that, “the state government is concerned over what is happening. The Ministry of Health is already handling the situation. When they are through with the medical investigation, further necessary actions will be taken.
“I urge the good people of Kano State not to panic. The government is on top of the situation. The mystery or whatever it is will soon be unraveled,” the statement said.