Madagascar records its first COVID-19 death

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Madagascar has 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.

This comes nearly two months after it recorded its first case of the novel coronavirus.

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

“A man died from COVID-19 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.

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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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