PROVERBIAL HALF BREAD, they say, is better than none. Absence, presently, of globally known orthodox remedy, or cure for the novel coronavirus, moved the government of Madagascar to initiate, and also, take the lead, to produce and launch herbal remedy – named COVID-Organics herbal drink, for preventive, treatment, and possible cure of the deadly coronavirus, Covid-19.
The COVID-Organic drink, according to Madagascar authority, is derived from artemisia plant, said to have efficacy in the treatment of malaria, combined with other indigenous herbs. It will be used in “profilaxis” – preventive and treatment, while the country’s clinical observations have shown the trend towards its effectiveness in curative. And other clinical studies are still underway.
Andry Rajoelina, President of Madagascar, officially launched the local herbal remedy, on Monday. At the gathering of ministers, diplomats and journalists, during the launch, at Malagasy Institute of Applied Research, IMRA, which developed the drink, President Rajoelina said: “Tests have been carried out — two people have now been cured by this treatment. This herbal tea gives results in seven days.”
Rajoelina, openly, drank a dose of the locally produced herb, at the launch, and declared: “I will be the first to drink this today, in front of you, to show you that this product cures and does not kill. All trials and tests have been conducted and its effectiveness in reducing the elimination of symptoms have been proven for the treatment of patients with COVID-19 in Madagascar.”
International standard safety assessments are yet to confirm the efficacy and effectiveness of local remedy. The World Health Organization, WHO, has repeatedly warned that there is, currently, no cure for Covid-19. But the Chief of Staff, to President Rajoelina, Rosa Ronoromaro, said the government was aware of WHO’s warnings, but the president owes a duty to Malagasy people.
Wednesday, children returned to school in Madagascar, authorised by the government. Prior to resumption, presidential decree ordered that COVID-Organics herbal drink was mandatory for school children. Thursday, citizens of Madagascar, in their numbers, rushed to collect the herbal drink launched by President Rajoelina.
The most vulnerable citizens of the country, according to the authority, will receive COVID-Organics herbal drink free of charge. It will be sold at very low prices to others. And all profits will be donated to Malagasy Institute of Applied Research, IMRA, to finance scientific research.
Covid-19 confirmed cases in Madagascar, as at the time of this report, stands at 121, with 59 recoveries and no death.
NIGERIA on her part, has towed the line of global rejection of claims of local remedies for the treatment of coronavirus. However, some Nigerians infected by the virus, and successfully treated, said they got cured by applying combination of local herbal remedy, with other treatment.
Frank Okiye, Speaker of Nigeria’s south-south, Edo State House of Assembly, who was recently, treated and discharged from coronavirus infection, linked his fast recovery to the treatment he received from combination of local herbal remedy and orthodox medicine. And called for the collective fight against the coronavirus global pandemic.
One of Nigeria’s southwest, Osun State, distinguished Royal Highness, Ooni of Ife, Enitan Ogunwusi, recently, suggested that herbal remedies could be effective in treating coronavirus. Governor of Nigeria’s southwest, Oyo State, Seyi Makinde, who was infected by Covid-19, and fully recovered within specific period of time, testified to the used of local remedy while in isolation caring for himself. He was specific of the herbal remedy he used.
Some Nigerian distinguished scholars in Epidemiology and Virology have openly advocated for search for local remedies for the treatment of coronavirus disease. Many other Nigerians, through the social media, are making claims of local remedies, and raising their voices in calling on government to look at the direction of local remedies to combat Covid-19.
NIGERIAN Presidential Task Force, PTF, on COVID-19, according to analysists and observers, has been on sheer daily rigmarole media briefings on Covid-19. They believe that the uncompromising officials in the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19, play down intellectual and constructive suggestions and claims of local herbal remedies, and the way forward in dealing with the spread of coronavirus in the country.
Government’s chief image maker, Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture, ironically, was always quick to dismiss such claims, and describe them as “fake news”. Of recent, however, Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire has extended invitation to legitimate claims of local herbal remedies to Covid-19, to approach his ministry for verification, through the ministry’s procedures and processes.
While Nigerian government continues to grope for solution to combat Covid-19 pandemic, state governments continue to take turns in locking down their citizens and economy; while figures of infected persons keep rising, deaths keep increasing without, yet, vision of viable solution. Thinking out of the box, becomes, inevitable
Criminologists and security experts, are expressing serious concerns over likely increase in crime rate in the country, due to overstretch hunger, likely to be inflicted on the citizens by further extension of lockdowns without commensurate provision of promised palliatives. There has been mass outcry of inadequate, and in some cases, none provision of palliatives to citizens to cushion the effects of lockdowns.
Consequences of prolonged lockdowns on national economy are being overlooked. Today, the price of Nigeria’s mono foreign exchange earnings – crude oil – hovers, unprecedentedly, within $20 dollars per barrel range. The World Bank and International Monetary Fund, IMF, are predicting that the world economy would be adversely weaken, post coronavirus era.
Yet, Nigerian governments, federal and states, are busy further channelling efforts towards lockdown, lockdown and lockdown, and not providing adequate palliatives to lockdown citizens, and proffering viable solution to tackling Covid-19. Palliatives that governments claimed to be in circulation in the country have not reached up to 10 percent of the citizens already lockdown for close to one month. And additional weeks of lockdown are being proposed.