Two Madagascar lawmakers die with coronavirus
A man crosses the street in the Tsarakofafa neighbourhood as a Ministry of Health official offloads from a pick-up truck sprayers to disinfect the premises in Toamasina, a major port city on Madagascar's east coast, on 4 June 2020. Toamasina, Madagascar's second largest city, has become the city with the most cases of infection and deaths from COVID-19 coronavirus. (RIJASOLO / AFP)
(AFP) - Madagascar President Andry Rajoelina on Sunday said two lawmakers -- one member of the senate and one deputy -- had died after becoming infected with coronavirus.
Eleven other deputies and 14 senators had also tested positive for the virus, Rajoelina said.
The Indian Ocean island on July 5 placed its capital Antananarivo under a fresh lockdown following a new surge in infections, two months after the restrictions were eased.
It has recorded 2,573 infections including 35 deaths with the government estimating that the peak will not be reached until the end of August.
In April, Rajoelina launched a local herbal concoction he claimed prevents and cures the novel coronavirus.
He has since been promoting the brew for export, saying it is the country's "green gold" which will "change history".
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.
© Agence France-Presse