JIGAWA State’s Senator Ibrahim Hassan Hadejia has denied that the state is now a major coronavirus epicentre despite reports of over 100 deaths over the last week claiming that they happened as a result of people dying from the impact of fasting.
Across Nigeria, the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan started on April 23 and the Islamic faithful have been observing it like their counterparts elsewhere. Over the last few days, however, it has been reported that there were over 100 deaths in Jigawa State, speaking fears that it could become the next Covid-19 epicentre but Senator Hadejia has dismissed this, saying the fatalities are a result of people dying from fasting.
According to Senator Hadejia, who represents the Jigawa North Senatorial District, the deaths are a result of a combination of fasting, heat and ill health. According to the senator, a committee set up by the state government found only 46 deaths in Jigawa State and there was no proof that Covid-19 was responsible.
He added that all those who died recently were elderly people who had health challenges, pointing out that although they were told not to fast, they did eventually. According to Senator Hadejia it was this their refusal to refrain from fasting that led to the deaths.
Senator Hadejia said: “A five-man committee which includes a World Health Organisation member found only 46 deaths throughout Jigawa. That committee was set up by the governor when he heard the news and it went to Hadejia, looking for the veracity of the so-called 100 deaths.
“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% tests done and they have all come back negative. Now, there is also a malaria problem in Hadejia and 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, so the fasting, the heat, coupled with the health status, affected the elders and they died.”
Nigeria currently has a total of 4,399 coronavirus of which there have been 143 fatalities. Jigawa State has the seventh highest incidences with 118 people affected but according to official figures, there have only been two fatalities in the state from the virus.