COVID-19: Madagascar leader ‘congratulated for herbal cure’
Madagascar's President Andry Rajoelina says he has been congratulated by his counterpart in the Democratic Republic of Congo for launching a herbal coronavirus "cure".
The World Health Organization (WHO) says there is no proof of a cure for Covid-19 and the country's national medical academy (Anamem) has also cast doubt on the efficacy of Mr Rajoelina's touted prevention and remedy.
But President Rajoelina tweeted that he and Félix Tshisekedi had chatted via a video conference about the Malagasy plant-based tonic, dubbed Covid-Organics.
"Africa is united and develops solutions against #Covid19 thanks to its natural heritage. The Malagasy stand beside their brothers," he said in the post.
When the herbal concoction was launched on Monday, Anamem said it had the potential to damage people's health as its "scientific evidence had not been established".
Developed by the Malagasy Institute of Applied Research (Imra), it is made from the artemisia plant - the source of an ingredient used in a malaria treatment - and other Malagasy plants.
The Indian ocean island, which has a population more than 25 million, has so far recorded 121 cases of coronavirus, and no deaths.
DR Congo, with a population of 51 million, has recorded 359 cases, including 25 deaths.