The Federal Government has said that, with circumstantial evidence, investigation suggests that between 50-60 percent of the notable Kano State unexplained deaths may have been triggered by or due to COVID-19, in the face of pre-existing ailments.

The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, said this on Monday in Abuja at the 41st joint national briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19.

He said that most fatalities were over 65 years of age.

There was outrage over the high numbers of deaths with notable individuals dying in Kano, Jigawa and some other states.

“With regard to unexplained deaths in Kano, which occurred in April, the team confirmed from graveyard records that a total of 979 deaths were recorded in 8 municipal LGA in the state at a rate of 43 deaths per day, with a peak in the second week of April.

“By the beginning of May, the death rate had reduced to the 11 deaths per day it used to be.

“The verbal autopsy revealed that about 56 percent of deaths had occurred at home while 38 percent were in hospitals.

“With circumstantial evidence as all to go by, investigation suggests that between 50-60 percent of the deaths may have been triggered by or due to COVID-19, in the face of pre-existing ailments.

“Most fatalities were over 65 years of age,” Ehanire said.

The Presidential Technical Team deployed to Kano to support the state committee in upscaling its response to COVID-19, on May 3, said coronavirus was responsible for the mass deaths recorded in the State at that time.

Leader of the team, Dr Nasiru Sani Gwarzo, disclosed this in an interview with journalists in Kano during the official presentation and handing over of the mobile testing laboratory donated by Aliko Dangote Foundation to the state government.