DESMOND MGBOH, Kano
The team leader of the Ministerial Task Team on COVID 19 in Kano, Dr Nasir Sani Gwarzo has expressed displeasure over newspaper reports quoting him as saying that the recent deaths were caused by COVID-19.
Speaking during an update on COVID-19 in the state on Tuesday, Dr Gwarzo who is the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, dismissed the newspaper reports as wrong and untrue.
In his words: “There is also the challenge of rumour, which I intend to clarify. Some of the newspapers and pressmen reported wrongly and absolutely wrongly, that I reported a percentage of people that have died in the state, who were supposedly people who have died of COVID-19. That is not the truth.
“I have said repeatedly that the state is embarking on a study, which we were very, very pleasantly surprised. We are impressed that the state has already gone ahead to do a post morten – a verbal autopsy and the result is not out.
“The state is also doing studies on the graveyards and the result is not out,” he added.
“Yesterday, along with the federal team and the state, we concluded another protocol, which would do the actual testing of samples…. And then, and then only then, would be a conclusive result to say that this is the proportion that had died of COVID-19 and this is the result that had died of other causes.
“Your Excellency, I want to use this opportunity to reiterate that the report was wrong and that the correct thing is that we are awaiting the result,” he said.
“When the result comes out, it is not befitting on the Ministerial Task Team to announce it. It is the state’s responsibility,” he stated.
Dr Gwarzo also announced that the minister had directed them to bring some equipment to the state among which were four well equipped ambulances and a crew of 21.
“The crew is well trained in handling an emergency. We have two oxygen concentrators, one for the state and one for the teaching hospital in Kano. We also have brought with us two ventilators, one for the state and one for the teaching hospitals. We also have a pack of 200 PPEs for the state and 80 for Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital,” he stated.
He appealed to the state government to look into cases of patients in isolation facilities in the state who had tested negative for the virus and were now asymptomatic, saying that such patients should be allowed to return to their normal life.