Madagascar records first Covid-19 death as Nigeria receives herbal mixture

Madagascar had previously recorded no death for two months due to what it claimed was the effectiveness of its herbal remedy, Covid Organics. President Andry Rajoelina had previously donated the herbal remedy to ECOWAS countries and Nigeria received its consignment from the Guinea Bissau President on Saturday in Abuja.

Madagascar has reported its first coronavirus death nearly two months after it was first detected in the country, officials said Sunday.

The country which has recorded 304 cases has been in the news over a home-grown herbal mixture that claims can cure people infected with the virus.

Several African countries have ordered or expressed interest in the purported remedy, which is known as Covid-Organics.

The tonic drink is derived from artemisia a plant with proven efficacy in malaria treatment, and other indigenous herbs.

But the World Health Organization has warned against “adopting a product that has not been taken through tests to see its efficacy”.

The Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, had dissociated itself from reports of a donation from Madagascar regarding COVID-Organics.

In a May 6 press release, the ECOWAS Commission said it dissociated itself from claims that it had “ordered a package of COVID Organics (CVO) medicine from a third country.”

“We wish to dissociate ECOWAS and its health institution, West Africa Health Organization, WAHO, from this claim and inform the general public that we have not ordered the said CVO medicine,” the statement read in part.

The controversial virus cure is already in West Africa after Guinea-Bissau took delivery of a donation followed by other countries including Nigeria.

President Andry Rajoelina had told the country’s national broadcaster that a donation had been made to the 15-member ECOWAS bloc.

Rajoelina last week kicked against the mounting opposition against the Covid-19 organics because it had not undergone clinical trial.

“If it was a European country that had actually discovered this remedy, would there be so much doubt? I don’t think so,” Rajoelina said in an interview with French news channel, France 24.

Nigeria received the Covid-19 organics on Saturday during a meeting between President Muhammadu Buhari with his Guinea Bissau counterpart, Umaro Sissoco Embaló, who arrived Abuja with the consignment donated by Madagascar.

“President Muhammadu Buhari has received the Madagascan native formulation against the COVID–19 pandemic and reiterated that he will listen to science before allowing traditional or any new medicines to be administered on Nigerians,” a Nigerian presidential aide, Bashir Ahmad tweeted.

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