The Head of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 sent to investigate the high incidence of deaths in Kano State, Dr. Nasiru Gwarzo, yesterday linked the deaths to COVID-19, saying the results of 80 per cent of the tests conducted were positive for the disease.
His report came on the day the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) said the tally for confirmed cases of the virus had climbed to 2,558 with 400 discharged and 87 dead.
It said there were 170 fresh cases yesterday spread across 12 states, including Lagos 39, Kano 29, Ogun 24, Bauchi 18, Kaduna 15, Sokoto 12, Katsina eight, Borno seven, Nasarawa three, Adamawa two, and Oyo one.
Its Director-General, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, however, brought good news, saying the agency was excited by the emerging successful clinical trials of Remdesivir in the United States of America and that efforts were being made to access it for the treatment of COVID-19 patients in Nigeria.
But in Kano, Gwarzo said the virus was the cause of the multiple deaths that had
ravaged the ancient city since its first index case last month.
Although the state Governor, Mr. Abdullahi Ganduje, had denied that the deaths were linked to the pandemic, Gwarzo was emphatic that the virus was the culprit.
“Let me inform us that most of the deaths recorded of recent and test carried out showed that coronavirus was the cause,” the task force head said, adding: “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.”
Gwarzo, who spoke to the BBC Hausa Service, and later during the official presentation and handing over of the mobile testing laboratory the Aliko Dangote Foundation donated to Kano State government, added: “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 between the private sector and other stakeholders. 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, the concentration of the people in one place and “test we have constructed which have an element of COVID-19.”