By Musa Sunusi Ahmad
Bauchi State governor Bala Mohammed said 150 people have died in Azare, the headquarters of Katagum local government area, contrary to media reports that there were 300 massive deaths within the last 14 days.
The governor unveiled the figures on Sunday evening while briefing newsmen at the banquet hall, government house Bauchi.
Governor Bala Mohammed stated that contrary to media reports that there were massive deaths in Azare, the headquarters of Katagum LGA, “it’s 150 people that have died in the last 30 days, and not 300 people as reported in the media”, he insisted.
Bala who attributed the death of the 150 people to undisclosed ailments also declared a total lockdown of three LGAs of Katagum, Giade and Zaki were rumours of the massive deaths were reported.
He said the total lockdown was necessary to curtail the rapid community transmission that was reported to have increased the number of confirmed cases in Azare
The decision of the total lockdown of the affected LGAs followed additional cases of covid-19 were 66 cases have tested positive for coronavirus on Sunday in Bauchi.
The governor said, 42 of which were from the Azare, the headquarters of Katagum LGA.
With the development, Bauchi State has a total of 181 cases of Coronavirus, most of which according to the Governor were as a result of community transmission.
“Total lockdown on the 3 LGAs is necessary; we just got result of about 66 cases, 42 of which were from Azare alone.
“And we have found out that most of the cases from Azare is as a result of community transmission; people are not adhering to guidelines in that axis, because there has been transaction going on between the people of Azare and Kano were the covid-19 pandemic is high”, Governor Bala declared.
The governor directed the State Deputy Governor Senator Baba Tela to relocate to Katagum axis to properly coordinate response that will ensure massive contact tracing and testing to enable the state government establish the actual number of people who contracted the disease.
“We mean business and we are serious, that is why I asked the Deputy Governor to relocate to Katagum while I take charge at the centre. I had a conversation with the commissioner of Police to ensure total compliance.
We have already contacted the traditional leaders in the 3 LGAs and we have obtained their buy-in”, he added.
The governor also directed the committee on palliatives to ensure that the people of the affected LGAs are supported with food items to ease hardship during the lockdown.
He said the lockdown would be for a period of 10 days and would start on Tuesday, May 12, 2020.
The governor also said the state government will fumigate the 3 local government areas during the lockdown, which he hopes will reduce the reported community transmission.
Bala Mohammed also appealed to the Jos testing centre at Vom to help Bauchi state intensify testing and timely release of results pending when the State’s test centre will be ready.