The Malagasy government has deployed doctors and soldiers in the eastern city of Toamasina after several bodies were found in the streets amid COVID-19 fears. The discovery came after two people died of the highly contagious disease in the city and came in the wake of increase in the number of infections since Thursday, May 21.
According to reports by CGTN, about 150 soldiers would be sent to Madagascar’s second largest city with orders to ensure adherence to health measures to contain the spread of the pandemic after 100 new cases were registered in a span of five days. “Doctors must carry out thorough examinations to see if these deaths are caused by another illness or if they are really due to severe acute respiratory problems which is the critical form of COVID-19,” Professor Hanta Marie Danielle Vololontiana, a spokesperson for the government’s COVID-19 task force said. The deployment of soldiers to maintain law and order was approved by the Cabinet on Sunday, May 24.
The Cabinet also sacked the head of Toamasina after the death of a doctor who allegedly hanged himself after he contracted the respiratory disease. The Malagasy government also dispatched a team to distribute COVID-Organics (CVO), a herbal drink that its president Andry Rajoelina claimed was a cure for COVID-19 patients. The effects of the herbal medicine were not yet scientifically proven but the World Health Organisation and the African Union were in discussion with the country to start clinical trials.
On his Instagram page on Friday, May 1, President Rajoelina said the “herbal medicine” would be availed to all coronavirus patients in all friendly countries across the African continent and the around the world. “Madagascar and its African brothers are united in the response to the coronavirus. It is with honor that we send these CVO herbal teas to the 15 member countries of ECOWAS through Guinea Bissau,” ” Madagascar will make Tambavy CVO available to all coronavirus patients in all friendly countries in Africa, in the Indian Ocean and around the world. As of Tuesday, May 26, the island country had 542 confirmed coronavirus cases with two deaths.