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Mystery deaths in Jigawa, Yobe States stoke fears of Kano COVID-19 scenario

There are palpable fears of the widening spread of the frontlines of the rampaging Coronavirus with reports of mysterious deaths in Jigawa and Yobe States.

However, while the Jigawa State government has set up a fact finding panel which would report back on Thursday, the Yobe State government is adopting a ‘sidon dey look’ attitude of doing nothing.

This was the same attitude adopted by the Kano State Government in the early days of the mass mysterious deaths that later turned into Coronavirus deaths as confirmed by the Presidential Committee on COVID-19 as it accused those who raised issues on the high rate in activities on a number of cemeteries in the State of raising unnecessary alarm.

But the Jigawa State governor, Muhammed Badaru Abubakar, has set up five-man committee saddled with responsibility at checking the remote cause of the death following a community report over the increasing number of deaths in the State.

State Chairman, COVID 19 Task Force who is also the Commissioner of health, Dr Abba Zakari told journalists in Dutse, the State capital, that the Committee will be chaired by Dr Mahmud Abdulwahab, with Shehu Mohd, Yusuf Hakimi, Shehu Sule and representatives of the World Health Organization (WHO), as members.

The committee is expected to submit their reports within three days and make recommendations for appropriate actions.

The constitution of the Committee followed reports that residents of Hadejia town lived in fear and anxiety following mysterious deaths in the area in a recent times where about 100 people were reported dead in 10 days.

Special Assistant on Media to the Council Chairman, Sani Kakabori, also confirmed the unfortunate incident, saying: “Over 100 people, mostly of old age, died within the last ten days while several others suffered series of illness ranging from high fever, headache, cough and cartar.”

Also, similar death cases were recorded in major towns like Kazaure, Gumel, Ringim and Dutse where more than 50 people, especially of old age, died in the last 10 days.

Meanwhile, no less than 155 persons have died in Gashua and Potiskum areas of Yobe State over the last six days after exhibiting symptoms related with the Coronavirus, SaharaReporters can confirm.

The deaths, which have caused panic among residents of the state, is similar to the situation experienced in Kano recently where people in large numbers died consistently for several days to what had now been confirmed by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 to be the virus.

Between April 30 and May 5, 98 people died in Potiskum, a source told SaharaReporters on Wednesday.

“Cemeteries are now the busiest places in these towns. In Gashua town, at least 57 have died. Those dying are mostly elders, yet the State Committee on COVID-19 is sleeping in Damaturu as if nothing is happening,” another source familiar with the situation, said.

SaharaReporters also gathered that instead of addressing the challenges his State was facing, Governor Mai Mala Buni has been away in Abuja where he spends more than 80 per cent of his time since being elected into office.

Recall that Buni recently gifted 14 Emirs luxury Sports Utility Vehicles worth over N600m despite the poverty rate in the State.

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