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Madagascar places Capital under fresh Lockdown

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Following a spike in Madagascar’s COVID-19 cases just two months after restrictions were relaxed, its Presidency on Sunday, has placed the nation’s capital, Antananarivo on fresh lockdown.

According to the Presidency’s statement , “The Analamanga (under which the capital is situated) is returning to full lockdown,”.

No traffic will be allowed in or out of the region starting Monday until July 20.

A strict curfew will be imposed on street movement by people. “Only one person per household is allowed to go out into the street between 6:00 am (0400 GMT) and 12:00 pm (1000 GMT),” said the statement.

The measures have been taken “because of the spread of the epidemic and the increase of COVID-19 cases,” it added.

Used to registering dozens of coronavirus cases a day, Madagascar has in recent days seen an exponential rise in daily numbers, jumping to a record 216 cases on Saturday.

The cases rose after 675 people were tested.
Until now, nearly 24,000 tests have so far been conducted on the impoverished island.

By Sunday the country had a cumulative 2,728 cases, including 29 deaths since the virus was first detected on the Indian ocean island on March 20.

While court hearings have been suspended, government meetings will now be held via video conferencing.

Recall, in April, President Andry Rajoelina launched a local herbal concoction he claimed prevents and cures the novel coronavirus.

Rajoelina , who has been promoting the brew for export, said it is the country’s “green gold” which will “change history”.

Ever since, the potential benefits of Covid-Organics, a tonic derived from artemisia ,a plant with proven efficacy in malaria treatment and other indigenous herbs, have not been validated by any scientific study.

Fatimah Oyesanmi

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