YAOUNDE, Cameroon 

The Malagasy president has announced the closure of three coronavirus treatment centers in the capital Antananarivo amid a slowdown in virus infections, local media reported on Monday.

The Ivato, Vontovorona and Alarobia treatment centers were opened in June as other hospitals were overwhelmed with patients with severe COVID-19 symptoms. Most of the centers were designed to treat people who suffered from respiratory depression.

President Andry Rajoelina said late Sunday that only the Mahamasina treatment center in the capital will continue to receive coronavirus patients, according to l’Express De Madagascar.

The head of state, however, emphasized that the treatment of people with virus symptoms in basic health centers will be strengthened.

The Indian Ocean island nation has recorded 14,327 virus cases so far, including 113 deaths and 13,355 recoveries, according to WHO Africa.

In its COVID-19 situational report last week, the UN health agency said high level advocacy was provided to Madagascar’s health ministry on the importance of data sharing, and clinical characterization to tackle the outbreak.

There are over 1.1 million confirmed COVID-19 cases on the African continent — with more than 899,000 recoveries and 27,000 deaths — thus far.

Rajoelina introduced Covid-Organics in April, a herbal drink for prevention and remedy from the novel virus. It is produced from the artemisia plant, the source of an ingredient used in malaria treatment.

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