Nigerian officials have now said that the recent wave of deaths in the country’s northeast state of Kano is linked to coronavirus.
Last month more than 150 people died in Kano with suspicions rife that this could be due to the outbreak of COVID-19.
But after preliminary assessment the Nigerian government said the deaths were caused by complications from other health conditions and not the novel coronavirus.
A statement at the time from the Kano state government said the deaths were caused by complications from hypertension, diabetes, meningitis and acute malaria.
But the head of the presidential task force on Coronavirus, Nasiru Sani Gwarzo has told journalists that samples taken from bodies were yet to be buried turned positive.
“It is necessary for people of Kano to wake up from their slumber… this is a serious issue,” he told journalist, adding the virus may have spread as people visited the sick and attended burials.
Nigeria has confirmed 2,558 cases of coronavirus with Kano the second leading state in the number of cases after the commercial city of Lagos.
Although cities like Lagos and Abuja are easing the lockdown restrictions, President Muhammadu Buhari has imposed a two week lockdown on Kano state.
#COVID19KN Update as at 12:15am 4th May 2020
*️⃣ 29 new cases of #COVID19Kano cases confirmed.
*️⃣ Total confirmed cases in @KanostateNg are now 342.#StayAtHomeStaySafe #MaskUpKano pic.twitter.com/U0LduWIDOi
— Kano State Ministry of Health (@KNSMOH) May 3, 2020