The era of culpable denials has elapsed, as COVID-19 has finally and officially been linked to the spate of sudden and unexplained deaths in Kano State.
The head of the presidential team sent to Kano to tackle the spread of the COVID-19 and unravel the mystery behind the mass deaths in the state, Dr Nasiru Sani Gwarzo, said on Sunday while chatting with journalists at the event of mobile testing laboratory donation which the Dangote Foundation made to Kano State that “most of the deaths recorded of recent and test carried out showed that coronavirus was the cause.”
He added that “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.”
He had earlier in an interview with the Hausa Service of BBC on Friday said community transmission has set in, thereby requiring drastic measures to contain it.
He said his team has visited many places and discovered that the pandemic has scaled the level of national contact, individual contact to the level of community transmission.
He said it was sad news but it was the hard and inevitable truth. “This has made it even more necessary for us to collectively tackle the issue. The period of whether coronavirus is real or not is over. Even if you don’t agree with the reality of this pandemic, please do justice to others and fight against its spread”, he said.
Gwarzo said the claim of Kano State government that the mass deaths are caused by malaria, diabetes and meningitis may not be entirely true, adding that “even if the mass deaths were initially related to other ailments, coronavirus is presently the major cause of the mass deaths in Kano.”
He said drastic measures need to be taken to tackle the situation even if those measure may not go down well with the people of the state.
Judicial Sketch broke the news of the sudden and unexplained mass deaths in Kano on April 20, 2020, and the state government responded by saying it was not true, threatening subtly to take drastic action on peddlers of “fake news”.
The state government kept re-assuring its citizens and the federal government that the deaths were normal and unrelated to COVID-19.
Even when independent researchers came with conclusions that suggested COVID-19 could be responsible for the deaths, state officials persisted in denial, until more outcries, coupled with more individual surveys forced them to reluctantly agree to look into the possibility, and take necessary action, a pledge they never took seriously.
The federal government however sent a medical team to the state to lend a helping hand to the fight against the spread of COVID-19 and to unravel the mystery of the ceaseless rise in the spate of deaths.