Despite criticism of the effectiveness of this product, Malagasy President Andy Rajoelina launched Friday the capsule version of Covid organics (CVO) herbal tea, which is considered a preventive and curative product of the viral disease Coronavirus, during this period of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The capsules produced from artemisia and ravintsara, local Malagasy plants whose virtues are recognised worldwide, will be made known to the world," said Andry Rajoelina during a visit to the factory where the capsules are produced, accompanied by a representative of the World Health Organisation (WHO).
"We can change history through nature, natural resources and Malagasy know-how," he said.
The product was launched Friday at an inauguration ceremony held outside Antananarivo by local pharmaceutical company Pharmagalasy.
More than a quarter of Madagascar's 26 million inhabitants have so far taken the drink, according to government figures, and there are still nine million bottles in stock.
The capsule, whose content has not yet been scientifically tested for its effects, is to be sold worldwide with 275 million in stock and the capacity to produce 32,000 CVO + capsules per day, despite warnings against its use and distribution by the World Health Organisation, whose representative in the country, Charlotte Faty Ndiaye, congratulated the president for leading "the fight against this global pandemic" at the launch.
The WHO recently approved guidelines to help scientists conduct appropriate trials of potential herbal coronavirus remedies and Rajoelina has not yet specified when sales will begin.
Madagascar has so far reported 232 Covid-19-related deaths and more than 16,500 confirmed cases.