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As COVID-19 spread across Africa and leaders put their countries in lockdown, Madagascan President Andry Rajoelina last month launched an herbal remedy that he claimed could prevent and cure the disease.
The announcement caught medical experts, who have scrambled to find a cure for the disease that has killed more than 252,000 and infected at least 3.6 million people globally, by surprise.
Rajoelina, a former DJ who in 2009 at the age of 34 became the continent's youngest national leader, claimed at the launch that the remedy, named Covid-Organics, had already cured two people.
"This herbal tea gives results in seven days," Rajoelina, 45, told journalists and diplomats in April.
Soldiers have since been going door-to-door in the Indian Ocean island country, which has reported 149 cases and no fatalities, dispensing the concoction.
What is in Covid-Organics?
The herbal remedy is produced from artemisia, a plant with proven efficacy against malaria, and other indigenous herbs, according to the Malagasy Institute of Applied Research, which developed the beverage.
The plant was first imported into the island nation in the 1970s from China to treat malaria.
It is now marketed in bottles as a herbal tea, while Rajoelina has said clinical trials are under way in Madagascar to produce a form that can be injected into the body.