As researchers across countries are busy finding a vaccine for COVID-19, news of alleged claims of 'cure' for coronavirus has been making news often, sometimes with the stamp of country's leaders. In a similar claim, Madagascar had stated that it's herbal tonic is the cure for coronavirus infection.
This news spread faster than World Health Organization's claim that no authentic vaccine or cure has been found for COVID-19 and the latest developments show that African countries have already started importing the herbal tonic to control COVID-19 in their respective nations. The countries including Tanzania, Congo-Brazzaville, and Guinea-Bissau in Africa are at the forefront of importing huge quantity of herbal tonic from Madagascar which is being dubbed as the cure to coronavirus.
Herbal tonic of Madagascar for Coronavirus?
"The Special Envoy of the President of Equatorial Guinea, the Deputy Minister of Health @MitohaOndo arrived on Malagasy soil to recover the Tambavy CovidOrganics / preventive and curative. #Madagascar is there to help all friendly countries against # COVID19. Flag of Madagascar Flag of Equatorial Guinea," says (translation) one of the tweets by Andry Rajoelina, the President of Madagascar.
Reports claim that the herbal tonic is extracted from the artemisia plant that has an ingredient used in malaria treatment. Reportedly, the tonic has been tested on less than 20 people in the span of three weeks is being currently marketed as Covid-Organics. Speaking to BBC, Tanzanian president's chief of staff Lova Hasinirina Ranoromaro confirmed the news of marketing the herbal tonic produced in Madagascar.
The tonic has drawn the attention of African countries as the artemisia is cultivated in Cameroon, Kenya, Ethiopia, South Africa, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. Rajoelina, President of Madagascar further said that the Covid-Organics will be distributed to those vulnerable to coronavirus, free of cost. However, the profit gained after selling the tonic will go to IMRA to finance scientific research," he announced on his Twitter handle.
There have been no studies declaring it as a cure for Coronavirus
Meanwhile, WHO and also US-based National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health have warned against self-medication and remedies for coronavirus and touting them as coronavirus cure. There is no scientific testing is done, the explanation given on how this herbal tonic helped coronavirus patients recover. Except for vouching for the medicine by the Madagascar president, there have been no other studies declaring it as a cure for COVID-19.
Earlier, when US President Donald Trump had termed hydroxychloroquine as an effective treatment against coronavirus, many people in African countries were reported to have consumed chloroquine that had led to the overdose and severe health complications after two Nigerians who had consumed it following the claims made by Trump. A man in Arizona had died after consuming Chloroquine.