Madagascar has reported the first death of a patient suffering from novel coronavirus nearly two months after it was first detected in the country, official statistics showed.
The Indian Ocean island which has reported 304 cases has hit the headlines over a home-grown herbal concoction that President Andry Rajoelina 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”.
President Buhari also said the herbal tonic will be subjected to test by the appropriate agencies in Nigeria before he will allow it to be used to treat COVID-19 patients in the country.
But President Rajoelina insisted that the drug is efficacious in the treatment of COVID-19 in an interview over the weekend.
“COVID-Organics is a preventive and curative remedy against COVID-19. It works really well and it is as a result of the research carried out by the Malagasy Institute of Applied Research which has the status of an original research centre,” Rajoelina said.