Ibrahim Hassan Hadejia, senator representing Jigawa north, says fasting, heat and ill health are responsible for some of the recent deaths in Jigawa.
There were reports on dozens of people who died mysteriously in Hadejia local government area of the state within four days, with some attributing the deaths to COVID-19.
But in an interview with Vanguard, the senator said a committee set up by the state government found “only 46 deaths” and there was no proof that COVID-19 was responsible.
He said all those who died recently were elderly people who had health challenges, adding that although they were told not to fast, they did eventually.
“A five-man committee which has a World Health Organisation, WHO, member found only 46 deaths throughout Jigawa. That committee was set up by the governor when he heard the news. The committee went to Hadejia, looking for the veracity of the so-called 100 deaths,” Hadejia said.
“They did a verbal post-mortem. You know once somebody dies, our people bury him immediately. So, the team asked questions from the relatives of the dead and if there was strong suspicion, they had them tested as well. For now, all the tests done of everybody around the dead, including children and wives, that is over 70 percent tests done, have all come back negative.
“That says a lot. Now there is [also a] malaria problem in Hadejia, also the temperature around there has been unusually high, 241 degrees, and our people are all fasting. All the people reported dead were elderly with health challenges. Even when you tell them not to fast, they bluntly refused.
“The fasting, the heat, coupled with the health status, affected the elders and they died.”
The senator added that the steps taken by the Jigawa government would curb the spread of the disease.
So far, Jigawa has 38 confirmed cases of COVID-19.