President Andry Rajoelina of Madagascar Taking a Sip of 'Covid Organics' at the Launch in April 2020 Photo: Science Mag

Madagascar re-imposes lockdown as S’Africa records 10,000 COVID-19 cases in 24hours

*Measure taken due to increase of COVID-19 cases, says Madagascan Presidency

Emmanuel Akosile | ConsumerConnect

Despite the production and application of its well-celebrated local herbal cure ‘Covid Organics’ as an antidote to combat the novel Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country few months back, Madagascar again, has imposed a new lockdown on its capital Antananarivo, sequel to a fresh spike in Coronavirus infections.

The country’s Presidency in a statement Sunday, July 5, 2020, announced the fresh lockdown two months after it had eased the restrictions earlier imposed on the population over the fatal pandemic, agency report said.

It stated: “The Analamanga region (under which the capital is situated) is returning to full lockdown.”

The statement said that no vehicular traffic would be allowed in or out of the region starting Monday, July 6 till July 20.

A strict curfew will be imposed on street movement by people.

“Only one person per household is allowed to go out into the street between 6:00 am (0400 GMT) and 12:00 pm (1000 GMT),” said the statement.

According to the Madagascan Presidency, the measures have been taken “because of the spread of the epidemic and the increase of COVID-19 cases.”

Hitherto, the country reportedly recorded dozens of Coronavirus cases daily, but in recent days, Madagascar has witnessed an exponential rise in daily numbers, jumping to a record 216 cases Saturday, stated the report.

The latest tally came after 675 people were tested.

The country had cumulative 2,728 cases, including 29 deaths since the virus was first detected on the Indian Ocean Island on March 20 as of Sunday.

All government meetings will now be held via video conferencing, while court hearings have been suspended, according to the statement.

Recall that President Andry Rajoelina, in April 2020, launched a local herbal concoction he claimed prevents and cures the novel coronavirus.

Rajoelina has been promoting the brew for export, saying it is the country’s “green gold” which will “change history”.

However, the potential benefits of Covid Organics, a tonic derived from Artemisia,which is a plant with proven efficacy in malaria treatment, and other indigenous herbs, have not been validated by any scientific study, said the report.

Likewise, South Africa Saturday also reported more than 10,000 new Coronavirus infections, the highest daily jump on record for the country as it hurtles towards an anticipated spike.

Agency sources indicated that daily tallies released by the health ministry showed 10,853 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, taking the cumulative tally since March when the virus first arrived in the country to 187,977.

The death toll stands at 3,026 after 74 new fatalities were recorded.

Health authorities have been expecting a surge in cases after the gradual loosening of a strict lockdown that was imposed on March 27.

President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa commenting on the surge in COVID-19 cases in the country development Friday, July 3 said: “What we have been seeking to do is to balance… saving lives of our people and also preserving livelihoods, and it’s a delicate balance.”

With the nation’s economy projected to shrink more than seven percent in 2020 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic — the worst slump in 90 years — the government is battling to strike a balance between saving lives and the economy.

The Southern African nation adjudged as the most economically developed country currently has the highest number of Coronavirus cases on the continent.

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