Several African countries are importing herbal potion from Madagascar claimed to be a cure for pandemic disease COVID-19, a deadly respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus. The trade is set to take place despite the World Health Organization's repeated warnings against the use of self-medication as the disease still lacks a cure.

According to BBC, John Magufuli, the president of Tanzania, is preparing to import the herbal tonic by sending a plane to Madagascar where this drink was launched recently. It is made from the artemisia plant, which is reportedly a source ingredient used to develop medication for malaria treatment.

As per the report, the concoction is named Covid Organics (CVO) and it is a form of herbal tea. It claims to cure infected persons after being tested on fewer than 20 people over a period of three weeks, according to the Tanzanian president's chief of staff Lova Hasinirina Ranoromaro.

Not only Tanzanian president has promised to bring the tonic as a cure to his country, but also Congo-Brazzaville's president is planning to import the drink. However, WHO continues to maintain its stand that there is still no cure for COVID-19 in the world and it has expressed concerns and issued advice against self-medication.

In response to the launch of Covid Organics, WHO reportedly said that global organisation does not advise "self-medication with any medicines... as a prevention or cure for Covid-19." Meanwhile, the organic drink was reportedly delivered to Guinea-Bissau on Saturday.

President Magufuli ascertained his intentions during a briefing on Sunday and informed the public that they are preparing for despatch of a flight.

"I am communicating with Madagascar, and they have already written a letter saying they have discovered some medicine. We will despatch a flight to bring the medicine so that Tanzanians can also benefit. So as the government we are working day and night," Magufuli said.

In addition, Andry Rajoelina, President of Madagascar, tweeted about the medicine and assured the public that Covid Organics will be provided free-of-cost to vulnerable and all profits earned will be donated for the purpose of scientific research to Malagasy Institute of Applied Research (MIAR).

L’envoyé spécial du Président de la Guinée équatoriale, le Vice-ministre de la santé @MitohaOndo est arrivé sur le sol Malagasy pour récupérer le Tambavy CovidOrganics / préventif et curatif . #Madagascar est là pour venir en aide à tous les pays amis contre le #COVID19. 🇲🇬 🇬🇶

— Andry Rajoelina (@SE_Rajoelina) April 30, 2020

''All trials and tests have been conducted and its effectiveness has been provided in reducing and elimination of symptoms from COVID-19 patients in Madagascar,'' Africanews a multilingual news media quoted the president as saying in the briefing on Monday.

However, WHO has clearly specified on its official website that "there are currently no drugs licensed for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19." In this special section, the specialised agency of United Nations busts myths against several substances that claimed to cure the coronavirus disease.

The organization has also issued a caution against "physicians and medical associations recommending or administering unproven treatments to patients with COVID-19 or people self-medicating with them."

Novel coronavirus
South Korean nurses wearing protective gear pose as they start their shift to care for patients infected with the COVID-19 coronavirus at a hospital in Daegu -- the country reported zero new infections for the first time . Photo: AFP / Jung Yeon-je

As of Monday, major African countries have reported more than 42,000 confirmed cases and 1,750 deaths. Meanwhile, more than 3.5 million cases and more than 248,000 deaths due to coronavirus have been confirmed across the world.