Enugu State Government has recently confirmed the death of about 57 people in Ette Uno and Umuopu communities of Enugu Ezike in Igbo-Eze North Local Government Area (LGA). Fears that the 57 mysterious deaths in Enugu State may be connected to COVID-19, has made the state government forward samples to the National Reference Laboratory for proper investigation.
Dr. Emmanuel Obi, Commissioner for Health, affirmed that his ministry’s Rapid Response Team (RRT) visited the council as information has also reached the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) He said, ‘On-the-spot-check and outbreak investigation has revealed a number of deaths from an illness with symptoms suggestive of a disease of public health importance.’
He recounted that the strange killer disease was first noticed in early September in the Ette Uno community where it claimed about 37 lives, and later spread to a neighbouring community where it claimed about 20 lives.
Vincent Oshomi, the Disease Surveillance and Notification Officer of the council, diagnosed symptoms such as convulsion, diarrhoea and vomiting of blood which were found common with the victims.
Mr Oshomi in his statement said, ‘I have officially informed the Ministry of Health, and an investigation is ongoing to unravel the cause of the deaths.’
He noted that samples of affected persons have been collected by the Ministry of Health for testing and that the outcome of the samples would give a clear cause of death, as well as determine the possible way out.
Dr. Mordi Ononye, Commissioner of Health Commissioner, Delta state, also unveiled that the state government had set up a team to oversee and unravel the cause of the mysterious disease.
However, with respect to the report of the investigation carried out sometime in June, the Federal Government had highlighted that about 50-60 percent of the over 900 strange deaths, that occurred in Kano State may be linked to coronavirus.
Dr. Osagie Ehanire, Minister of Health, stated that ‘Concerning unexplained deaths in Kano which occurred in April, the team confirmed from graveyard records that a total of 979 deaths were recorded in eight municipal LGA in the state at a rate of 43 deaths per day, with a peak in the second week of April.’ He said, ‘By the beginning of May, the death rate had reduced to the 11 deaths per day it used to be.’
He also added that ‘The verbal autopsy revealed that about 56 percent of deaths had occurred at home while 38 percent were in a hospital.’