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Africa News of Thursday, 1 April 2021


Madagascar applies for COVID-19 vaccines ditching local herbal 'remedy'

The southern African island nation of Madagascar will join COVAX, the global COVID-19 equitable vaccine initiative, its Minister of Public Health has announced.

The move represents a change in government's position on vaccines with Antananarivo opting to stick to a yet to be proven local concoction known as Covid-Organics.

"There are still many steps to be taken before access to the vaccines, but the registration is already an important step in the process," Minister of Public Health Prof Jean Louis Rakotovao disclosed in a video posted on the ministry's official Facebook page.

The new move means that that country has applied to COVAX and would be in line to receive jabs from the facility.

President Andriy Rajoelina had repeatedly touted COVID-Organics, the herbal tea mixture, as a curative and preventive cure for the coronavirus but WHO and the Africa CDC have said a lot needed to be done by way of verifying the claims.

Weeks ago, a Madagascan minister disclosed that the country was not in a hurry to roll out vaccinations. The president said whiles he was not against vaccines, he will not take them.

A number of his counterparts across the continent have publicly received their jabs especially the AstraZeneca shots which are largely the vaccines being deployed under COVAX.

Madagascar's virus statistics as of today, April 1, 2021; are as follows:

24,426 = Total confirmed cases
2,100 = Active confirmed cases
21,908= Recovered
418 = Deaths