Madagascar has sent its locally made COVID-19 “herbal medicine” to 15 African countries in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). President Andry Rajoelina launched the herbal tea named COVID-Organics (CVO), on Monday, April 20, claiming the concoction cured COVID-19 patients.
On his Instagram page on Friday, May 1, Rajoelina said the “herbal medicine” would be availed to all coronavirus patients in all friendly countries across the African continent and around the world. Madagascar had registered 135 infections of the pandemic as of Saturday, May 2, with zero deaths. Out of the total cases, 97 of them had recovered according to Worldometers, a real-time statistics website.
The herbal medicine, which was developed by the Malagasy Institute of Applied Research, contains Artemisia – a plant on the Island used in the fight against malaria. However, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said there was no proof of a cure for the disease, warning against the widespread use of untested remedies. Madagascar’s national medical academy (Anamem) also cast doubt on the efficacy of Rajoelina’s touted coronavirus remedy.
Countries across the world are coming up with their own vaccines. Already, some researchers at Oxford University in the UK are developing one and plan to test it in Africa. The United States (US) on the other hand approved the use of Remdesivir drug, saying a study showed it interfered with the replication of some viruses, including the SARS-CoV-2 virus responsible for the current pandemic.