The mysterious deaths which started in Kano has spread to three other states in Northern Nigeria.
governor of Bauchi, Bala Mohammed, says about 150 people died in Azare, Katagum local government area of the state, in the last 30 days.
Former house of representatives member, Ibrahim Baba, had alleged that there was a massive outbreak of coronavirus in Azare.
In a letter to President Muhammadu Buhari, the former lawmaker had said more 100 people died in Azare within one week.
But at a press briefing on Sunday, Mohammed dismissed the ex-lawmaker’s claim, saying 100 people died within a month and it’s not as a result of COVID-19.
He, however, attributed the deaths to ailments such as hypertension, but not the virus.
“We have reviewed the rumour about Azare that it has become a morgue. It’s not true. We have gotten the statistics of the deaths in the last 30 days. About 150 died in Azare, an average of about 8 deaths per day and most of them we have found the cause to arise from hypertension and other related diseases,” he said.
“It’s not true that people are falling and dying in Azare. Even if that is the situation, we are moving there as a government.”
He also declared a total lockdown on Katagum, Giade and Zaki local government areas of the state, as part of efforts to limit the community transmission of COVID-19 infections.
Mohammed said the deputy governor had been directed to relocate to Katagum axis in order to ensure effective coordination of the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The lockdown in the three LGAs will take effect from May 12 and last for 10 days.
Also, 66 persons have reportedly been buried in Potiskum local government area of Yobe state within three days.
Although the deaths have not been linked to coronavirus, the unusual occurrence in the area was said to have caused apprehension among residents.
Since the coronavirus pandemic, strange deaths have been reported in various states, lately Bauchi, Kano and Jigawa
The Nation quoted a cemetery worker as saying one of the burial grounds, Mamman Ali graveyard along Gashua road, has received 48 bodies.
The attendant whose name was not disclosed said: “We don’t know why people are dying like this. We too want to know what the problem is but we don’t know. We want the government to find out and tell us what is happening.
“But it is only journalists that are calling us and asking us questions. No government official has come to the grave yard to ask us anything.”
He reportedly listed other graveyards where the bodies have been buried as NEPA where seven corpses were reportedly buried; Garin Jaji, eight; Gishua Dabua, six; Bayin Asibiti, four; in addition to 10 other graves dug by the Mamman Ali cemetery.
Mohammed Gana, Yobe commissioner of health and vice-chairman of the state COVID-19 response team, said the deaths were being investigated.
“People die due to various causes; we may not say it is coronavirus,” he was quoted as saying.
Jigawa, which is a neigbouring state to Kano, has also been experiencing strange deaths in the past few weeks.