Tanzanian President John Magafuli has revealed that the country is in talks with Madagascar for the herbal portion which the island nation claims cures and prevents Covid-19.

The East African country which has recorded 480 cases of the virus and 16 deaths, promised to import the ‘herbal cure’ to help ease the outbreak. This is despite the World Health Organisation (WHO) dismissing the beverage as a possible cure for the respiratory-related disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

President Magafuli made the announcement whilst questioning the surge in the number of Covid-19 cases in the country.

According to Straits Times, the Tanzanian leader called for authorities to investigate what he alleges to be ‘sabotage’ at the national laboratory.

The ‘herbal beverage’ which is extracted from the Artemisia plant-a key ingredient used in malaria treatment-has been touted as a cure for Covid-19 by Madagascar’s President Andry Rajoelina. Although Rajoelina has been enthusiastically promoting the ‘herbal cure’ there is no scientific proof to back up his claims.

Speaking to the BBC, the president’s chief of staff Lova Hasinirina Ranoromaro said that the ‘cure’ had been tested on fewer than 20 people over a period of three weeks. He also added that the ‘cure’ works in less than 10 days.

In response to the launch of the alleged cure, Covid-Organics, WHO said in a statement sent to the BBC that the global organisation did not recommend “self-medication with any medicines… as a prevention or cure for Covid-19”.

The statements reinforce earlier comments by WHO head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus that there are “no short-cuts”  to finding effective mediation to fight coronavirus.

In March, the US-based National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health warned against purported coronavirus remedies, including herbal therapies and teas – saying the best way to prevent infection was to avoid exposure to the virus.

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