Madagascar has placed its capital Antananarivo under a fresh lockdown following a new spike in coronavirus infections, two months after the restrictions were eased, the presidency announced on Sunday.
No traffic will be allowed in or out of the region starting Monday until July 20 and a strict curfew will be imposed on street movement by people.
Madagascar was used to registering dozens of COVID-19 cases a day however, the country has recently seen an exponential rise in daily numbers, jumping to a record 216 cases on Saturday after a total of 675 people were tested.
In the statement, “The Analamanga region (under which the capital is situated) is returning to full lockdown,” the presidency said.
“Only one person per household is allowed to go out into the street between 6:00 am (0400 GMT) and 12:00 pm (1000 GMT),” said the statement.
The measures have been taken “because of the spread of the epidemic and the increase of COVID-19 cases,” it added.
Nearly 24,000 tests have so far been conducted in Madagascar.
Since the virus was first detected on the island on March 20, the country had a cumulative of 2,728 cases, including 29 deaths by Sunday.
Court hearings have been suspended and all government meetings will now be held via video conferencing.
In April, President Andry Rajoelina launched a local herbal concoction he claimed prevents and cures the novel coronavirus.
Rajoelina has 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.