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Rajoelina abandons herbal Covid-19 'cure', launches treatment centres

By Mwangi Maina | July 26th 2020

Madagascar President Andry Rajoelina when he launched a local herbal remedy for the novel Coronavirus. [Courtesy]

Madagascar President Andry Rajoelina has launched new coronavirus treatment centres amid rising cases of the pandemic, just months after he proclaimed a Herbal ‘cure’. 

In what seems like a Presidential U-turn on the hyped herbal Covid-19 ‘cure’, Rajoelina, a former disc jockey unleashed a series of tweets saying the nation will win against the virus, Sunday morning.

“We are inaugurating the CTC-Treatment centre in Mahamasina, which can accommodate 250 patients with severe forms,’’ tweeted Rajoelina on Sunday morning.

He also launched CovData, a digital platform that will help in consolidating medical data including the numbers of beds, ventilators, and coronavirus patients being treated in health facilities.

The head of state urged the nation to show unity and solidarity in the fight against the pandemic.

In late April 2020, Rajoelina launched a traditional remedy ‘Covid Organics’ (CVO), a herbal concoction he claimed could prevent and cure the novel coronavirus.

Rajoelina urged citizens to protect themselves from coronavirus by drinking the herbal beverage.

“Drink this herbal tea to protect yourselves, to protect your families and your neighbours, there will be no more deaths’’ said the President of the Island nation while taking a sip of the concoction.

Known under the scientific name of Artemesia Annua, a plant grown widely in Malagasy that helps in treating Malaria, Covid Organic was distributed free of charge.

This saw Madagascar send the CVO to several African countries, including Tanzania, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Niger and Senegal.

The World Health Organisation, Africa CDC, and other medical research centres warned against the use of the traditional remedy without medical supervision.

In a rejoinder, President Rajoelina slammed them for not endorsing the concoction.

His latest move on fighting the Covid-19 pandemic and ensuring people stay safe has attracted both hate and love in equal measure.

“We would all love to keep this optimism, unfortunately,’’ tweeted Roel Tang.

Annella Chan, replying to Rajoelina’s tweet, in heavy French claimed that everything had been staged.

“Your magic tea is neither preventive nor curative. Pathetic!’’ She expressed her disappointments.

The Indian Ocean island nation has so far recorded 8,866 cases, 5,579 recoveries and 78 corona-related deaths.

The government has imposed stringent measures to combat the virus, including lockdowns in various regions, as cases spike.

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