Alhaji Abdullahi Maikanti, the Chairman, Hadejia Local Government Council in Jigawa, on Wednesday said that the 47 deaths recorded in the area had no link with coronavirus (COVID-19).

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the deaths were said to have occurred between April 30 and May 6.

Maikanti said only three people died within the period, contrary to media reports which claimed that 100 persons died of mysterious ailments in 10 days.

The council chairman said that after a second audit on Tuesday, it was confirmed that 47 people died in the area.

Maikanti told NAN in Hadejia that the deceased were elderly people with pre-existing conditions.

“After we conducted verbal autopsy and visited Gawuna and General Hospital burial grounds, we concluded that 47 people died from April 30 to May 6.

“The deceased were aged between 70 and 100 years, and had been battling with illnesses like hypertension, asthma, and stroke among others for many years.

“In all our investigation, the deceased did not show symptoms of COVID-19,” he said.

On prevention against the pandemic, the chairman said that the council recently intercepted three buses that conveyed traders to a “wet market” in the area.

“Most of the traders came all the way from Bayelsa and Benue to buy frogs in the market.

“Our fear is that these people may carry the virus and infect our people in the market.

“But we later released the vehicles after their owners showed remorse and wrote an undertaking that they would steer clear of Hadejia and its markets for now,” Maikanti said.

He said the council had intensified sensitisation of residents on social distancing, coughing and sneezing etiquette as well as the need for frequent hand washing.

The state government had earlier constituted a five-man committee to investigate the spate of deaths in the area and make recommendations.

The committee, chaired by Dr. Mahmud Abdulwahab, a seasoned medical practitioner is expected to submit its findings on May 7.

NAN

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