Bottled hope

Coronavirus: Rajoelina’s ‘remedy’ flows freely in Madagascar

in depth

This article is part of the dossier:

Corona Chronicles: 27 April – 30 April

By Emre Sari

Posted on April 30, 2020 14:49

President Andry Rajoelina’s Covid-Organics (CVO) remedy is being handed out free of charge in the country’s streets and schools.

At noon on 24 April, a pick-up truck being used as part of Madagascar’s coronavirus response enters the courtyard of Jean Joseph Rabearivelo secondary school, located in the heart of Antananarivo.

At the back of the vehicle, two soldiers brandishing assault rifles guard the precious cargo: a white barrel containing 250 litres of the COVID-19 “remedy”.

READ MORE: Madagascar’s ‘Covid-Organics’ born from local tradition

Men in combat fatigues pour the liquid into buckets. The students, dressed in blue shirts, are already lined up in several rows: one by one, they fill up their empty bottle, imitating the procedure the headmaster showed them earlier.

On 20 April, President Andry Rajoelina himself launched Covid-Organics (CVO), an “improved traditional remedy with curative and preventive properties” against the coronavirus, as he described it.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: the miracle remedy touted by Madagascar’s Rajoelina

Officially developed by the Malagasy Institute of Applied Research (IMRA), the remedy is an infusion derived from artemisia and other plants which remain secret. It comes in the form of a liquid or infusion, with a defined dosage.

Distributed for free

After just about a week, CVO is already having a visible social impact.