Nigerian northern state dismisses rumor of mass death



LAGOS, April 21 (Xinhua) -- The government of a northern state in Nigeria has dismissed rumors of mass deaths in the state following allegedly an upsurge in activities on a number of cemeteries located within the state capital.

Local media reported Tuesday that over 150 unexplained deaths had been recorded in Kano since Friday, driving local residents into fears.

Auwalu Abdu Fagge, state health educator and secretary of risk communication sub-committee on COVID-19 of the state, in a statement said "this particular rumors has been investigated and found to be untrue and must be dispelled".

"The task force has activated the community informants structure of World Health Organization (WHO) to report death and cause of death and have also deployed officers to all burial grounds to count bodies brought in for burial everyday," Fagge said.

Fagge appealed to residents to "kindly disregard the rumors of having mass deaths recently in Kano metropolis".

"Honestly, the media and rumor mongers have been trying their best in making us dispense energy in warding them off," he added.

Rumors attributed the unexplained deaths to COVID-19 as the state records 23 new cases on Monday, the highest number in a single day since the state reported its first case on April 11.

"We can not afford to let the good people of Kano to panic and loose confidence in our response. I must state that we are more courageous than ever in a bid to contain this pandemic," the official said.

As of Monday, the Nigeria Center for Disease Control said Kano had a total of 59 confirmed COVID-19 cases and one death. Enditem