South Africa has expressed willingness to assist Madagascar to undertake scientific analysis of COVID Organics (CVO), a herbal drink that is said to prevent and cure patients suffering from the novel coronavirus or COVID-19.
''We received a call from the government of Madagascar, which asked for help with scientific research,'' Health Minister Zweli Mkhize, said in a Twitter post.
''Our scientists would be able to assist in the research. We will only get involved in a scientific analysis of the herb,'' he added.
Last month, Malagasy President Andry Rajoelina officially launched the CVO, a herbal mixture, claiming that it can prevent and cure patients suffering from the novel coronavirus.
The drug was developed by the Malagasy Institute of Applied Research.
Rajoelina said on Monday that his government was already collaborating with foreign doctors and researchers for research possibilities of the Artemisia plant -- the main component of CVO.
He said the country was working on a new injectable solution of CVO also.
"A pharmaceutical factory will be set up within a month to increase the production capacity of CVO. It will be administered in other forms such as injections,” said the president.
The African Union has also said that it is obtaining technical data related to the safety and efficiency of the CVO.
But, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned against any self-medication and said it has not recommended any medicine as a cure for COVID-19.
The UN agency said it supports scientifically-proven traditional medicine.
''WHO welcomes every opportunity to collaborate with countries and researchers to develop new therapies and encourages such collaboration for the development of effective and safe therapies for Africa and the world,'' the UN agency responsible for global health said in a statement.
The total number of coronavirus cases in Africa have reached 49,352, according to data released by the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday.