Officials in Nigeria’s northern Kano state say the recent sharp rise in deaths was not connected to Covid-19, the respiratory illness caused by coronavirus.
Officials say they are still investigating the cause of the deaths, but added that so far preliminary results show it’s not Covid-19.
The Nigerian health minister said the situation “is being monitored closely”.
Over the last week, there have been media reports of a higher than usual number of burials at grave sites in the state – with the figures being said to be in the hundreds.
But, in a statement, the state health ministry said investigations showed most of the deaths were caused by complications arising from hypertension, diabetes, meningitis and acute malaria.
The Nigerian Centre for Disease Control has also sent a team to help with the investigations. Authorities are urging the public not to panic.
The country has to date confirmed conformed 1,273 coronavirus cases and 40 deaths.
Three states – the capital, Abuja, the commercial hub of Lagos and Ogun in the south-west – are currently in the fourth week of a lockdown, extended from an initial two weeks.
Inter-state travel has also been banned for two weeks to curtail the spread of coronavirus.