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Madagascar Discovers Local Herb for Coronavirus

By Rachel Chang April 2, 2020, updated 10:00

Amid the medical race to find an effective vaccine for the coronavirus that is currently spreading the world, Madagascar, a southern Africa, could possible processed a tea from a local plant to cure the disease.

The coronavirus disease appeared first in 2019 in Wuhan city in China. The disease was, first identified in Wuhan and Hubei, both in China early December 2019. The original cause still unknown, it remains a puzzle and an enigma for the world scientific community.

The disease symptoms include high body temperature with persistent dry cough and acute respiratory syndrome. Some medical researchers say it is a pneumonia-related disease.

On April 21, the President of Madagascar Andry Rajoelina has officially launched a local herbal remedy claimed to prevent and cure the novel coronavirus.

“Tests have been carried out — two people have now been cured by this treatment,” Rajoelina told ministers, diplomats and journalists at the Malagasy Institute of Applied Research (IMRA), which developed the beverage.

“This herbal tea gives results in seven days. I will be the first to drink this today, in front of you, to show you that this product cures and does not kill,” stressed Rajoelina.

The drink, which has been called Covid-Organics, is derived from artemisia – a plant with proven efficacy in malaria treatment – and other indigenous herbs, according to the IMRA.

But its safety and effectiveness have not been assessed internationally, nor has any data from trials been published in peer-reviewed studies. Mainstream scientists have warned of the potential risk from untested herbal brews.

Rajoelina brushed aside any such reservations and said the concoction would be offered to schoolchildren, as it was his duty was to “protect the Malagasy people”.

“Covid-Organics will be used as prophylaxis, that is for prevention, but clinical observations have shown a trend towards its effectiveness in curative treatment,” said Dr. Charles Andrianjara, IMRA’s Director General.

Faced with further possible spread, it taken strict measures and have to adopt a range of tracking technologies to control the spread of the virus, as recommended by experts. Madagascar recorded 121 coronavirus cases since the epidemic began, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Madagascar, located in southern Africa, belongs to the group of least developed countries, according to the United Nations. It is a member of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and African Union (AU).