First-class emir dies in Kano

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Tafida Abubakar Ila

Tafida Abubakar Ila, emir of Rano,  has died one day after he was admitted to the hospital over an unknown ailment.

Fatihu Bichi, his media aide confirmed this to TheCable, saying he died on Saturday evening.

Bichi said Abubakar fell ill on Friday and was taken to the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital but was referred to Nassarawa Specialist Hospital due to lack of oxygen.

Rano is one of the emirates created by Abdullahi Ganduje, governor of Kano, at the height of his rift with Muhammadu Sanusi, whom he eventually deposed as the emir of Kano.

The real cause of the emir’s death is unknown but it happened at a time when the state is battling unusual deaths.

Kano has been hit by a wave of deaths since it recorded its index COVID-19 case in April.

Sabitu Shuaibu, deputy coordinator of the task force on COVID-19, had reportedly said 640 persons died in the state within one week.

The spike in deaths had made many residents panic, with rumours making the rounds that they are from COVID-19 complications.

But the government dismissed the rumour, attributing the deaths to diabetes, malaria and hypertension.

President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari had ordered a two-week lockdown and a probe of the deaths.

The Kano state government and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) later decided on verbal autopsy to ascertain the cause of the unusual deaths.

Verbal autopsy is a method of gathering information about symptoms and circumstances that led to the death of an individual in order to determine the probable cause of death in cases where there was no medical record or formal medical attention given.

According to a survey seen by TheCable, 41.3 percent of those who died in Kano during this period had fever — one of the symptoms of COVID-19.

Yusuf Yau Gambo, a lecturer at the department of mathematics, Yusuf Maitama Sule University in Kano, carried out a “community-based survey on reported increased mortality in Kano state,” giving “possible explanations with data”.

Gambo, an applied mathematician and data analyst, stated that the report, which has received attention from Kano COVID-19 task force, is an attempt to provide timely intervention to understand the situation and to halt false narratives.

The survey is based on a very small sample size of 260 households from over 17 local government areas.

Nasiru Gwarzo, head of the COVID-19 task force in Kano, says there is now a high rate of community transmission of the disease in the state.

Gwarzo told the BBC Hausa that a high rate of transmission, as shown by increased testing, is currently evident when compared to the former situation.

He said unlike before, about 80 percent of the samples received from communities in the state turned out positive for COVID-19.

Kano, which recorded its first case of the disease about three weeks ago, now has 311 confirmed cases, making it the second worst-hit state.

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