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World News

Lockdown ends in Nigeria's Kano, where coronavirus killed hundreds

ABUJA (Reuters) - The Nigerian state of Kano ended its novel coronavirus lockdown on Thursday, the local ministry of health said, months after an outbreak of what was originally called a “mysterious disease” killed hundreds of citizens.

The easing comes weeks after other parts of Nigeria relaxed restrictions, and marks an effort to resume everyday life in Kano, the commercial and cultural heart of predominantly Muslim northern Nigerian.

In April and early May, roughly 500 people died in the state, a government probe found, saying the deaths were likely due to coronavirus. Local authorities did not acknowledge the outbreak at the time.

Kano’s health ministry on its official Twitter account did not provide details of the state lockdown ending except to say civil servants would return to work from July 6.

The end of Kano’s lockdown and other policies to relax restrictions come as coronavirus cases mount in Africa’s most populous country.

Nigeria had confirmed more than 25,000 coronavirus cases and almost 600 deaths as of Wednesday, with little sign of the outbreak slowing. Officials have expressed their concern that the outbreak in the West African country might become much worse.

Nevertheless, Nigeria on Wednesday said it would restart domestic flights from July 8.

Reporting by Paul Carsten; editing by David Evans

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