Poverty and religion are the major issues at play with some saying obeying the government’s stay-at-home order will mean dying of hunger at home.
“My wife gave birth yesterday and I am locked up at home today instead of going out to look for food for her and the baby – with no expectation of help from anybody – I think nothing could be worse,” said Yakubu Abdu who scavenges for iron materials on the streets of the city.
One of the most respected clerics in Kano told the BBC:
“I am against the closure of mosques by the government because in my opinion that won’t help solve the coronavirus problem.”
Trade with neighbouring Niger and Chad is key for Kano. Its popular Kantin Kwari textile market and the grains market in Dawanau attracts buyers and sellers from across the borders.
Sani Moussa, from Maradi in Niger, visits Kano every week to buy textiles and shoes for himself and many traders. He told the BBC:
“The stay-at-home order will no doubt affect us greatly. We rely on Kano for our products.”
Kano state officials say more than 400m naira (about $1m; £828,000) has been raised in coronavirus relief money that will be distributed to the most needy.
But others say this simply isn’t enough and even want Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote – who hails from the state – to step in and help.