Some businesses in Nigeria have started to slowly re-open after the country started to ease a lockdown which was imposed in key urban areas in a bid to start Africa’s largest economy.

But the main doctor’s association described the move as “very premature”.

In the country’s leading commercial hub of Lagos, traffic jams were absent, which indicates that many people there were remaining indoors.

Last week, President Muhammad Buhari said that the measures had imposed “a very heavy economic cost.

“I have approved of a phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures”, he said in a television broadcast.

He unveiled new measures including nationwide night-time curfews, the mandatory wearing of facemasks and a ban on “non-essential” travel between different regions.

He also announced an immediate lock-down in northern Nigeria’s largest city of Kano after officials said that they were probing a spate of “mysterious deaths”

The government is facing a difficult balancing act trying to curb the spread of the virus and contain the growing desperation of a vast number who are living hand-to-mouth in Africa’s most populated country.

More than 25 million residents in Abuja, Lagos and Ogun states has been under federal lockdown since March 30, with other states introducing their own lockdown.