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Madagascar records first coronavirus death

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, official statistics showed.

Madagascar registered its first coronavirus death, of a 57-year-old medical worker who suffered from diabetes and high blood pressure, the national COVID-19 taskforce said on Sunday.

Taskforce spokeswoman Hanta Danielle Vololontiana said in a televised statement that the man had died on Saturday night.

“A man died from coronavirus in Madagascar … he is 57 years old and a member of the medical staff,” she said

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”.

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