Madagascar on Sunday reported the first death of a patient suffering from novel coronavirus nearly two months after it was first detected in the country.
According to local daily L’Express de Madagascar, the case is a 57-year-old man, a parking lot security officer at a hospital in the city of Toamasina.
The first death comes weeks after the country’s President Andry Rajoelina launched Covid Organics (CVO), an organic herbal drink he claims can prevent or cure coronavirus patients.
The Indian Ocean island which has reported 304 cases has hit the headlines over a home-grown herbal concoction derived from artemisia — a plant with proven efficacy in malaria treatment — and other indigenous herbs.
Several African countries have ordered or expressed interest in the purported remedy, which is known as COVID-Organics.
The World Health Organization (WHO) had warned against the use of CVO without any medical supervision and cautioned against self-medication.
The WHO on Thursday said it is in touch with Madagascar over its herbal drink.
”We have offered to support the design of a study to look into this product [COVID Organics],” Matshidiso Moeti, the regional director of WHO office in Africa, told a media briefing.
The global death toll from the novel coronavirus has exceeded 312,200, with more than 4.65 million confirmed cases and recoveries have surpassed 1.7 million, according to a running tally by US-based Johns Hopkins University.