Madagascar has placed its capital Antananarivo under a fresh lockdown following a new surge in coronavirus infections.
This comes two months after the restrictions initially imposed on the state was eased.
The President in a statement said;
The Analamanga region (under which the capital is situated) is returning to full lockdown. No traffic will be allowed in or out of the region starting Monday until July 20. A strict curfew will be imposed on street movement by people. 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). The measures have been taken because of the spread of the epidemic and the increase of COVID-19 cases.
Madagascar which was used to registering dozens of coronavirus cases a day, has in recent days seen an exponential rise in daily numbers, jumping to a record 216 cases on Saturday.
The latest tally came after 675 people were tested.
Nearly 24,000 tests have so far been conducted on the impoverished island.
As at Sunday, the country has a cumulative 2,941 cases, including 32 deaths since the virus was first detected on the Indian ocean island on March 20.
All government meetings will now be held via video conferencing, while court hearings have been suspended.
In April, President Andry Rajoelina launched a local herbal concoction he claimed prevents and cures the novel coronavirus.
Rajoelina has been promoting and exporting the herbal tea, derived from artemisia — a plant with proven efficacy in malaria treatment — and other indigenous herbs.
Nigeria received a sample of the brew, of which the ministry of health recently confirmed that research showed that the herbal drink largely contains anti-malaria component.