A bottle of Covid-Organics, a herbal tea, touted by Madagascar President Andry Rajoelina as a powerful remedy against the COVID-19, that the authorities gave each student and encouraged them to drink it before the start of classes is seen on a student's desk at the J.J. Rabearivelo High School in downtown Antananarivo on April 23 2020. AFP Image Credit: AFP

Madagascar is building a factory to mass-produce a drink that's touted by authorities and some African leaders as a 'cure' for COVID-19 even though it hasn't been clinically tested or approved by drug regulators.

Sold as Covid-Organics, the drink contains extracts of the artimisia annua plant, which is used to treat malaria. The factory will be operational within a month, according to President Andry Rajoelina. "Our researchers and scientists are doing the necessary to make our coronavirus remedy a drug that meets the standards," he said on state TV.

The president of Tanzania, John Magufuli, has said he's sending a plane to Madagascar to fetch the tonic, and Rajoelina said on Twitter that Equatorial Guinea's vice minister for health had arrived in the country to procure an unknown quantity. Other countries that have shown interest are Senegal, Guinea-Bissau and Comoros, Rajoelina said.