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Nigerian task team to probe 60 ‘mysterious’ deaths


Team to evaluate deaths and review them with current Covid-19 cases to try to find a link

THE NIGERIAN Presidential Task Force (PTF) will be investigating the “mysterious” deaths in Kano State.

According to The Guardian Nigeria, 60 people died in one day, and on Tuesday the PTF for Covid-19 visited the governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, at the government house.

PTF team leader Dr Nasiru Gwarzo said they were determined to find the cause of the deaths.

Gwarzo, who is the secretary for the Federal Ministry of Industries, Commerce and Investment, said they had received orders to attend to the matter of the deaths in the region and come up with a long-term solution.

The PTF, which has a range of technical personnel and epidemiologists on board, is ready to evaluate the case of the 60 deaths and review it with current Covid-19 cases to try to find a link, Gwarzo said.

However, Ganduje is concerned about Covid-19 in Kano State, saying residents are witnessing community transmission of the novel coronavirus, with 115 cases and one reported death in the state so far.

Kano currently has the third largest number of Covid-19 cases in Nigeria.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to date has recorded 1 532 cases in the country, with 255 recoveries and 44 deaths.

Ganduje said although all measures to curb the virus were in place, their biggest battle was cultural and traditional perceptions of the coronavirus.

The House of Representatives has pleaded with authorities for help in containing Covid-19 and related deaths. House majority leader Ado Doguwa said the government needed to provide more testing centres and distribute more funds when he briefed the media at the national assembly complex.

Doguwa said he believed Kano needed to receive more attention.

“We have all engaged our constituents in every ramification. We have engaged them in terms of sensitisation, enlightened them on the need to comply with the social distancing order. That is why we have decided to come back to engage relevant agencies of government, especially Mr President, for them to see why Kano should be given a special treatment,” Doguwa said.

On Monday, President Muhammadu Buhari enforced a two-week total lockdown of Kano State.

In a Twitter thread, Buhari posted: “With regards to Kano, I have directed the enforcement of a total lockdown for a period of two weeks effective immediately.

“The federal government shall deploy all the necessary human, material and technical resources to support the state in controlling and containing the pandemic and preventing the risk of further spread to neighbouring states.”

– African News Agency (ANA)