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COVID-19: Yobe govt opens up on ‘mass deaths’

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The Yobe State government led by Governor Mai Mala Buni has opened up on reports making the rounds regarding mass deaths in the State, purportedly associated with COVID-19.

Dr. Lawan Gana, the State Commissioner of Health who is also the Vice Chairman COVID-19 Committee, described the reports of mass deaths in the State, associated with COVID-19.as untrue.

Reacting further, Dr. Lawan Gana said during a media briefing on Thursday that even before the news, teams have been constituted to unravel and ascertain the actual cause of deaths in those areas.

He said, “over the last two days, our attention was drawn to some online and print media unconfirmed reports that over 155 people died mysteriously in Potiskum, Gashua and Nguru local governments.

“These rumors happened, people died due to a lot of problems. We may not say it is coronavirus and we may not say it is not. But when this happens, we always have standard ways of doing things and we have ways of responding to alerts and we have standard ways of responding to rumours.

READ ALSO: Banker tests positive for COVID-19 in Yobe

“Even before these news came out, we had set up teams to go to those local governments and do detailed assessments together with verbal autopsies to come up with something to actually establish that these deaths are happening. And if they are happening what are the possible causes of these deaths”.

He charged journalists to always verify their facts before publishing or broadcasting them as rumours and misconceptions would do harm to the ongoing effort of mitigating the effect of COVID-19 in the State.

“Rumors and misconceptions are not going to help us in mitigating the problems around coronavirus disease. Avoid peddled rumours.

“As it is, we want to call on the members of the media to please be of help to us in order to prevent and control the disease in Yobe State and not to escalate unnecessary information,” he added.

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