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Madagascar, Vietnam, Rwanda, among countries yet to record COVID-19 death

As the global death toll from the infectious COVID-19 disease inches closer to 260,000, at least nine countries that have confirmed over 80 cases have not recorded any fatality.

By that global death figure, it means at least one in every 14 of the over 3.7 million confirmed cases worldwide have died from the virus.

But Vietnam, Rwanda, Faroe Islands, Madagascar, Cambodia, Nepal, Uganda, Central African Republic, and Mozambique have a clean death slate, according to data from online coronavirus tracker Worldometer.

Zero death aside, while the global recovery rate is 34 per cent (or about three in every ten), some of these countries have nearly 100 per cent recovery rate.

For one, in Faroe Islands, only two of its 187 cases are active. That is a 99 per cent recovery rate. This is the same for Cambodia which has 98 per cent rate of recovery as only two of its 122 total confirmed cases are active.

Also, Vietnam has 86 per cent recovery rate, Madagascar has 64 per cent, Uganda 55 per cent, Rwanda 49 per cent.

These records, however, pale against Nepal’s 22 per cent, Mozambique’s 14 per cent, and CAR’s 11 per cent.

Experts have identified the rate of testing per population, effective movement restriction as well the age distribution as the differing reasons for the zero fatalities and high recovery rates in some countries.

In Vietnam, for instance, cases have plateaued at 271 and no community transmission has been reported in the last fortnight.

It has since April 23 eased the lockdown in its major cities. This record is attributed to its vigorous contact tracing, testing of over 213,000 people — the highest test-per-confirmed case ratio after Venezuela — and a creative public campaign song about the virus.

Madagascar

As for Madagascar, President Andry Rajoelina in April launched an indigenous herbal remedy named Covid-Organics. The remedy, developed by the Malagasy Institute of Applied Research, was produced from artemisia, a plant said to have proven efficacy against malaria.

Tanzania, Liberia, Equatorial Guinea and Guinea-Bissau, have since either reportedly placed orders for, or have received consignments of, the medication. Nigerians on Twitter Wednesday evening have also advocated for the same.

The World Health Organisation has nonetheless called for caution in the use of the touted COVID-19 cure as it has not been scientifically tested and its efficacy and side effects have not been ascertained.

“Africans deserve to use medicines tested to the same standards as people in the rest of the world,” WHO said in a statement on Monday.

“Even if therapies are derived from traditional practice and natural, establishing their efficacy and safety through rigorous clinical trials is critical,” the statement added.

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