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Buhari orders two-week total lockdown in Kano

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Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered a total lockdown in Kano State as the state continues to battle coronavirus and what the state officials termed ‘strange deaths’.

“I have directed the enforcement of a total lockdown for a period of two weeks effective immediately,” Buhari said in a national broadcast on Monday.

“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.”

Kano state has become the epicenter of the pandemic in northern Nigeria, with 77 confirmed coronavirus cases and one death.

Apart from coronavirus, the state has seen a sharp rise in deaths. At least 150 persons have been reported dead in the last one week.

The state government acknowledged the deaths but said they were caused by complications from hypertension, diabetes, meningitis and acute malaria and not the COVID-19 pandemic.

“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,” Kano government said in a statement.

The state government has also directed Kano’s ministry of health to investigate the “immediate and remote” causes of death.

Meanwhile, Kano State coordinator of technical response team on COVID-19, Tijjani Hussaini, on Monday says it will rely on ‘verbal methods’ when probing the cause of death.

He said Kano, being a predominantly Muslim state, usually buries its dead almost immediately which, therefore, makes it nearly impossible to determine the cause of death of a person.

“In medical practice, there is what you call verbal autopsy. What we are doing is going back in history to see if we can make connections,” he said.

“Investigations will inform decision making and the Kano State Government will take it seriously,” Hussaini added.

Buhari also opined that the cases in “Kano, and indeed many other States that are recording new cases, preliminary findings show that such cases are mostly from interstate travel and emerging community transmission.”


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