It started in Kano State where thousands of people died from a strange ailment in one week. Still battling and finding out what could be the course of the deaths, the ailment struck Jigawa and Yobe states.

Verbal autopsy is being carried out by the Jigawa State Government to unravel the causes of the mass deaths in some of its towns.

A five-member team constituted by Governor Muhammadu Abubakar and supported by representatives of the World Health Organisation in the state is expected to complete the task on Thursday.

The constitution of the committee coincided with reports of similar deaths in Yobe State. The Jigawa fatalities in Hadejia in Hadejia Local Government Area was put at 150 while that of Yobe is believed to be around 148.

Worried Governor Abubakar said while inaugurating the committee, that “the government has taken this issue seriously.”

Chairman of the committee and leader of the team dispatched to Hadejia, Dr. Mahammud Abubakar, said, “We are in Hadejia to conduct verbal autopsy and find out the actual number of people that have died.

“The committee is also expected to uncover the causes for the recent increase in death rate in Hadejia; whether the deaths are related to COVID-19 or not.

“We will conduct the verbal autopsy and grave counting latest by tomorrow (today.)

“We are working closely with local government authorities and traditional rulers in order to ease our work. So far, we have not discovered anything that could link these deaths to COVID-19,”

Reports from the state indicated that most of the deceased had high fever, diabetes and high blood pressure.

The Special Assistant to the Local Council Chairman on Media, Sani Kakabobi, told The Nation that that many residents are apprehensive over the mass deaths.

He said health experts and local government council officials have warned the residents   to avoid sleeping indoors.

Kakabobi added, “Our people have been advised to be sleeping outside or open ventilated spaces. They are also to avoid congested places while sleeping or carrying out their activities.”

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