In Cameroon, the Archbishop of Douala suggests using plants to relieve Covid-19 patients

► The facts

For some time now, the Archbishop of Douala in Cameroon, Mgr Samuel Kleda, has been much talked about. It is said, in fact, that this naturotherapist discovered an effective potion against the coronavirus which has already infected more than 1,700 people in the country, for 58 deaths.

→ LIVE. Coronavirus: the latest information in France and worldwide

Since the disclosure of this news, which first went by word of mouth before attracting media attention at the Cameroonian and African level, hundreds of people flock to the bishopric of Douala to get this famous herbal composition.

Joined by La Croix Africa, the Archbishop adopts cautious language. ” Taking into account the symptoms of people who are presented as having coronavirus, I apply herbal recipes and these people feel better. I didn’t say I found a treatment for the coronavirus. Serious studies are needed to reach this conclusion.

He further specifies: ” I’ve been interested in caring for the sick from medicinal plants in the African Pharmacopoeia for 30 years. It started when I was rector of the Petit Séminaire de Guider, in northern Cameroon, to care for children. I continued the experience when I became bishop of Batouri and I continued in Douala

► Enthusiasm

Despite the prudence of the principal concerned, the recipe of Bishop Kleda raises great hopes in this country where the health authorities are not far from being overwhelmed by the increase in the number of cases of infection with Covid-19.

Paul Mahel, a Cameroonian journalist known for having led numerous debates on the pan-African television channel Vox Africa, spoke for example on the subject. On his Facebook account, he joked about the awkward explanations of the Cameroonian research minister who had indicated that the bats were at the origin of the spread of Covid-19: ” Instead of counting the bats, the people from the Ministry of Research should go and talk to Bishop Samuel Kleda “, He advised.

Like him, the Cameroonian philosopher and academic Alain Minkanda was enthusiastic: ” I pay a vibrant tribute to Archbishop Kleda during his lifetime. A great man by his physical, moral stature and by his humanism. I salute his discovery against the Covid-19; he who has excelled for decades in the pharmacopoeia when he was bishop of Batouri.

Maurice Kamto, an unsuccessful presidential candidate in October 2018, adopted the same tone in a press release published on April 27. He thus addresses his ” warm congratulations to Bishop Kleda for his efforts and his product against the Covid-19 “, Saying it should be” a source of national pride

► Testimonies

For their part, those who believe they have been healed have made their testimonies public. This is the case of Irena Ngomo, a resident of Douala and a Catholic Christian. “ Three weeks ago, I had symptoms of coronavirus disease with dry cough, cold and burning throat. Then I had breathing problems, ” he confides. This Christian, who has not been tested at Covid-19, believes that he felt better after taking the treatment proposed by the Archbishop of Douala.

Pierre Ekassi, bank executive in Douala wants to be more formal: “ I was tested at Covid-19 in Douala, after approaching someone who returned from Italy a month ago and who is said to have died of coronavirus recently. I had signs of the disease as we are told on television. While I was waiting for my results, I went to see Archbishop Samuel Kleda and his team who offered me a medicine for free. I have been feeling better for two weeks.

According to various testimonies, the experience in herbal medicine of Bishop Samuel has been known for more than 30 years. With natural plants, he thus put in place medical compositions and gave treatments for diseases such as stomach ulcers, gout, high blood pressure, and many others.

For the time being, the Cameroonian public authorities which have set up a plan to fight the Covid-19 pandemic have not yet reacted to “the Kleda solution”.

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when plants replace concrete

It is a popular place for tourists, who like to sail on the Mayenne and admire its bucolic shores. The Grez-Neuville canal, north of Angers (Maine-et-Loire), has been the subject of rather rare experimentation on this scale for two years: restoring its banks by preferring plants to stones. “We had observed their degradation during periods of low water, says Gwennaël Cordier, technician in aquatic environments in the department. To restore them, two options were available to us: resort to civil engineering, with masonry or riprap, or else to plant engineering, by focusing on the capacities of plants to fix and consolidate the banks. We chose the second. “

To select the best species to implant, the department relied on the expertise of the Fresne Agricultural High School, near Angers. “They had to resist the water, the waves caused by the boats, the erosion and the nutria which dig galleries, explains the technician. They also had to develop slowly and require little maintenance. “

Nature-based solutions

The choice fell on the plantation of earth sausages surrounded by coconut fibers, sown with helophyte plants such as irises or rushes. “They have the particularity of having their feet in the water and their heads in the sun”, describes André Evette, engineer and researcher at the National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and the Environment (Inrae), which closely monitors plant engineering projects in France (1). “These nature-based solutions are not new and date back to Antiquity, he recalls. But we lost sight of them from the 1950s and the transition to all-concrete. It was the era of the Thirty Glorious Years, and we didn’t have the same way of seeing the world as today … “ In the 1970s and 1980s, Austria and Switzerland brought these techniques up to date, followed by Germany and the Netherlands. In France, they have reappeared for ten years.

“Their major advantage is to favor the ecological restoration of the banks, high places of biodiversity, explains the researcher. The plants filter the pollutants that arrive in the water, provide a welcome shade and recreate a whole habitat in the air as in the water: insects, dragonflies, crayfish, freshwater shrimps, fish … “ A virtuous circle, which saves money. “Not only is it better to work with living things, but it’s also cheaper, confirms Gwennaël Cordier. Our plant site costs around € 40,000, when a “hard” development can amount to millions of euros, taking into account the difficulties of access to the site for construction machinery. “ Finally, if its effectiveness is not as immediate as a concrete installation, over time, “Plant engineering is becoming stronger than civil engineering”, he continues.

→ READ. Microplastics, nitrate: World Bank investigates invisible water pollution

Work on the Grez-Neuville canal was carried out in October 2018, testing two techniques. For the first 75 meters, a strip of local herb seeds has been planted above the helophyte sausages in geotextile. “It is a good alternative to the plastic sheet because it degrades naturally. “ Over the next 75 meters, a bed of willow plants has been added. The most effective technique will be reproduced on the 650 meters of remaining banks. A year and a half later, the first assessment is already positive: “The plants are well anchored to the ground and the willows have grown very well, greet the technician. But we must wait until spring 2021 to draw our conclusions. “

Only 5% of rivers in good ecological condition

In this department concentrating 7,000 kilometers of rivers, of which only 5% are in good ecological condition, the restoration of the banks and, ultimately, the recovery of the quality of the water prove to be crucial. “With plant engineering, we try to repair the mistakes of the past”, explains Marc Helbert, head of the water service in the department, which coordinates an Observatory of water quality in Anjou. “What weighs most on us is the fish index, he comments. It will replenish when they can circulate more freely in our waterways. But these actions will take time to produce their effects… ”

Especially since these techniques inspired by nature are not so simple to implement. “They require multidisciplinary skills and strong field experience, comments André Evette. It is not enough to follow technical rules like in civil engineering. Living things are impossible to model. How to predict that a beaver will eat the willow that has been planted? “ If plants can solve a multitude of problems – maintaining agricultural land in the face of erosion, preventing avalanches in the mountains, cleaning up soil, phyto-purification, wind or noise barrier – they cannot always be enough . “When you have a torrent near a school, you may not be going without concrete to secure the site, comments the researcher. In an urban environment, you don’t always have a choice. But mixed solutions are developing. “

→ REPORTAGE. At the Paris Aquarium, fish grow tomatoes

Nor is it easy to convince of the economic profitability of these developments. The establishment of hedges or buffer zones not cultivated in agricultural zones, for example, requires educational work. “Obviously, the financial gain is not necessarily demonstrated for a productivist agricultural model”, recognizes André Evette.

Last merit of plant genius: embellishing the landscape. “In front of our work on the canal, we have a very busy towpath, notes Gwennaël Cordier. Walkers are delighted with the new plantations. “ What hardly surprises André Evette: “Plants have a positive influence on humans: our blood pressure decreases in the forest, seeing a tree from its window facilitates healing in the hospital like concentration in a classroom. Putting plants back, in the end, is no longer disjoining man and nature … “

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Not enough fish, too many pesticides

The balance sheet drawn up in 2018 by the Observatory of water quality in Anjou over the last ten years draws up an unquestionable observation: too much nitrates, presence of 151 pesticide molecules (glyphosate, atrazine…), average or even bad fish population.

However, two indicators experience improvement (phosphorus, nitrogen) linked to
progress in wastewater treatment.

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How do you buy plants from nurseries?

To accompany perennials, shrubs and climbers must be present. And there, we need our nurserymen, these enthusiasts who are constantly looking for new plants, who multiply them, and offer them, sometimes in very small copies because they are so rare and difficult to produce.

Garden centers have retained their right to open

But in these times troubled by a nasty virus, nurserymen will need us, especially at the time of deconfinement. It is in the spring – because after winter, the treasuries are hardly valiant – that meetings are made between enthusiasts, in the festivals of plants which bloom all over France, and in the nurseries, often exhibition gardens. With the security measures due to the coronavirus, all the events were canceled over the days. Knowing that the actors of the sector realize up to 80% of their turnover in the spring, between March and May, their concern is tangible.

It’s impossible for us to go to their nursery, since they are not among the basic establishments, while garden centers have retained their right to open, because they offer animal feed. At 1er April, these so-called garden centers were authorized to market vegetable plants and fruit trees, which have become essential … and over the days, customers have been able to put ornamental plants in their basket …

Our nurserymen are in danger

Since then, it’s unclear for nurseries, related to florists. Deliveries? Delivering two plants for € 5 at 30 or 40 km, as is the case most of the time, is not profitable. Mail-order selling ? Imagine plants stagnating for several days or even weeks in abandoned sorting centers, then waiting for a postman to take charge. Drive? Most of these nurseries are located at the end of a small path in the countryside. So what should the customer write on their output sheet, since plants are not essential? However, there is no risk in going to a nursery, in the open air, if the safety instructions are taken into account. The same goes for the gardens to be visited, which are also affected.

Our nurserymen are in danger, and as soon as possible, we will have to tell them that we love their expertise, their talent and their plants. The survival of a trade and a sector is at stake. Join them now, to see if they have solutions to offer you. Then, from May 11, with necessary barrier gestures, we will be able to choose those plants that make us so much envy, and that are essential to our everyday life. Perennials, shrubs, climbing…

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“We can change the history of the whole world”

“I received a letter on March 24 stating that Madagascar has the remedy which could, in the conditional because we have yet to prove it, cure the coronavirus (…) this medical plant can completely cure the coronavirus”, did he insured during a television broadcast.

Rajoelina did not specify the name of the plant or the author of the letter he cited.

“We are going to do the tests and I am convinced that Madagascar will find this remedy,” continued the head of state, ensuring that scientists and laboratories from several countries were ready to participate. “We can change the history of the whole world,” he added.

The announcement of the first cases of people infected with Covid-19 caused a great revival in the markets of the Big Island for a whole series of medicinal plants or products such as ginger and lemon supposed to cure or, at the very least, protect from the virus.

In a speech last month, Andry Rajoelina himself praised the merits of certain plants or essential oils against the coronavirus.

The Madagascan president forced residents of the capital Antananarivo and the cities of Toamasina (east) and Fianarantsoa (center) to stay at home until April 19 to stem the Covid-19 pandemic in his country.

To date, 93 people have been officially contaminated with Covid-19 in Madagascar. None died and 11 were declared cured.

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Closure of plants due to coronavirus costs Volkswagen 2,000 million weekly

Madrid

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The CEO of the Volkswagen automobile group, Herbert Diess, has ensured that the closure of the plants of the German consortium in both Europe and America to prevent the expansion of the coronavirus represents a cost of about 2,000 million euros a week. This has been indicated by Diess in the German chain ZDF, where he has indicated that Volkswagen could support the closing their factories “for several weeks” or “perhaps months”, but not “indefinitely”, due to the cost that this supposes.

Although he has assured that the company is in a solid financial position, he has not ruled out “structural measures” if the crisis lasts for many months or even years, in the worst case. The manager also regretted that the vehicle sales have been halted worldwide, while in China, the largest individual market for Volkswagen, they have recovered at around 50% from pre-crisis levels, according to reports. Bloomberg.

Diess explained that Volkswagen is already preparing to resume operations in its factories, always following medical recommendations to avoid infections. He also indicated being “sure” that the company will be able to launch its ID.3 electric model this summer as planned, although he regretted that the trading conditions remain difficult to predict.

For his part, the financial and Information Technology director of the company, Frank Witter, It has indicated in another interview that Volkswagen will not need financial support from the German government, beyond resorting to employee aid. “Seen from today’s perspective, I rule it out,” Witter added to the German newspaper. Boersen-Zeitung‘. “In the automobile division we have solid cash flow and decent liquidity,” stressed the manager, after which he added that Volkswagen has lines of credit for more than 30,000 million euros.

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FCA, Ford and GM will produce medical supplies in the face of the health crisis

On Tuesday, the Ford Motor Company said it would join forces with some of its suppliers to provide its manufacturing and engineering services with the goal of expanding production of medical equipment.

Ford and GE Healthcare, for example, are developing a simplified design that Ford could start manufacturing at one of its plants. The plan now is to get the new design quickly approved by the Food and Drug Administration, Tom Westrick, vice president and chief quality officer for GE Healthcare, said in a conference call.

Furthermore, Ford will work with 3M to increase the manufacturing capacity of its air-purifying respirators and respond to the demand for emergency and healthcare workers, while developing a simplified design that could manufacture a plant in Michigan. .

The American manufacturer also said it will use its 3D printing capabilities, which it traditionally uses to prototype components, to produce parts that can be used in equipment manufacturing.

Last week, and after announcing the closure of all its plants in North America to reduce the risk of contagion of Coronavirus Covid-19 among its employees, General Motors announced an alliance with Ventec Life Systems, to increase the production of products for the care of the respiratory tract.

“With GM’s help, Ventec will increase fan production,” said Chris Kiple, CEO of Ventec Life Systems, in a statement. “Drawing on their experience, we are confident that this will allow us to get more ventilators to hospitals much faster,” he added.

Most of these efforts are being coordinated from the companies’ corporations in the United States, where there are already 54,810 confirmed cases and 781 deaths. In Mexico, there are 405 cases and five deaths, according to data from the governments of both countries.

With information from Reuters

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The Thyssen Future: A freestanding plant-covered monastery ship

An autonomous body with respect to the monastery building, with a roof with aromatic plants that evoke a claustral garden and a central space that is flexible and easy to connect between indoor and outdoor activities, are just some of the features that have made the jury decide on the design of the future. Thyssen Museum in Sant Feliu de Guíxols presented by Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos. The proposal of the study, based in Madrid and Berlin, was chosen yesterday from the five candidates that opted, in the final round, for the construction of the space that must permanently host the collection of Catalan painting by Carmen Cervera.

The architects – who did not read the verdict yesterday due to agenda issues, according to his office – claim that the new structure will symbolize the cloister of the monastery that was never built, so it will have a square structure with vegetation cover, and will act as a transition element between the historic building and the gardens adjoining the monastery.

Nieto Sobejano, with projects in Germany, Estonia, Morocco, China or the United Kingdom, has until now the end of September to draft the executive project for the reform and enlargement of the monastery, which will eventually set the calendar for raising what has to be a “country project”, according to the mayor, Carles Motas, which is set to begin work by the end of 2021.

The jury evaluated the proposal, presented under the name 190418, for the autonomy of the new ship, the possibility of outdoor activities and the provision of a space to highlight the history of the monastic complex. Also, the jury’s report also highlights that, at the museum level, “the exhibition spaces are very well used and very well defined.” “It also very appropriately sectored galleries for permanent exhibitions and temporary rooms, as well as complementary spaces for visits,” appreciates the expert committee, composed of the head of museums of the Generalitat, Magda Gassó, and the architects Rafael Roldán and Jaume Valor.

Carmen Cervera, marked yesterday as “a very important day” for the materialization of the project in “a place that I adore, Sant Feliu, Empordà and Girona” to bring to the public Catalan art and emphasized the momentum it can give to the area, as an example of the 200 businesses born around the Thyssen in Malaga, which opened its doors nine years ago.

For his part, from the Thyssen Foundation, Guillermo Cervera, emphasized that physical work will now begin to consolidate an initiative that they have been working for years. “We are talking about a significant number of works in individual pictorial volume and quality, from the 19th and 20th centuries, a global exhibition that is difficult to find at present,” said the head of the art collection. point out that the Guixol Museum has “its own identity” and that it seeks to generate “an experience” for the visitor, to seek “empathy with art and the environment”.

About six million euros

Both Motas and the Vice-President of the Girona Provincial Council, Albert Piñeira, emphasized the importance of the joint work of institutions and the Thyssen Foundation in pursuing an initiative that will make Sant Feliu a “cultural referent on the Costa Brava”.

The mayor summed up a maximum of € 6 million in investment, of which the council expects to contribute half, while € 1.2 million will go out of the Provincial Council. Once the political situation has stabilized, the municipal officials will knock on the gates of the Generalitat and the Ministry of Culture to establish their degree of “commitment” to the museum.

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