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A Sombre Ramadan in Kano

Kano, the commercial hub of northern Nigeria with an estimated population of some 13 million, was placed on lockdown by President Muhammadu Buhari on April 27 following the “unexplained deaths” of 640 people within two weeks. It came as local reports quoted gravediggers at cemeteries in the city as saying that they were burying a bigger-than-usual number of bodies in recent weeks, prompting concerns among residents. The state government denied claims the deaths were related to the coronavirus pandemic, while the federal government deployed a fact-finding team to Kano to investigate the “rapid increase in mortality” as authorities enforced the lockdown. Under the measures, schools, mosques and offices were closed while public gatherings were banned and residents were ordered to remain in their houses.