The Bauchi government has disputed claim that the mass deaths recorded in the state in the last ‘14 days’ was due to ravaging coronavirus pandemic.
Instead, it described the alleged death surge as normal and seasonal.
Varied reports had said that hundreds at Azare in Katagum Local Government Area of the state died of COVID-19. While some claimed it was over three hundred, others said it was far low with 110 bandied among the figure.
On the matter, a former member of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Ibrahim Baba, in a letter to President Muhammadu Buhari wrote in part: “Sir, I write to draw your kind attention to the massive outbreak of coronavirus in Azare town and environs in Bauchi State, which has already resulted in over 100 in the last one week, and this has thrown the entire area into great mourning, panic and confusion.”
Same with Musa Azare, the Deputy Public Relations Officer (P.R.O) of the State Asset and Recovery Committee, in a letter to Governor Bala Mohammed in which he claimed Azare recorded 301 fatalities in the “last 14 days,” on account of the dreaded virus.
Addressing newsmen at the weekend, the Deputy Governor Baba Tela, who doubles as Chairman of the Taskforce Response Committee on Lassa Fever and Coronavirus dismissed the reports in its totality.
Tela said the casualties’ figure was exaggerated adding that the situation was a normal scenario allegedly during hot weather.
He said: “We have received so many reports but I personally interviewed undertakers who assist in burying corpses in the area and yes there have been a number of deaths but it’s seasonal which comes with high temperature.
“As you see we are in the hot season now. This situation is similar to that of Kano State where people with underlying medical issues, most especially the elderly ones die. And you know Azare shares proximity with Kano State but am very sure the deaths are exaggerated.”
“I have come across different write-ups on social media on the incident but the situation is not so as presented; the writers of this letter are from Bauchi but they are not in the state at the moment.
“I don’t know the exact number of casualties, but what I have gathered is that about six persons die every day for a period of seven days.”