Venezuela is already home to the world’s largest proven oil reserves at about 300 billion barrels and now it appears the South American nation is ready to lay claim to yet another title — that of having produced a miraculous medicine that neutralises Covid-19.

In a televised speech to viewers in the Opec member nation, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro introduced Carvativir, a powerful antiviral that allegedly 100% cures the symptoms associated with the coronavirus.

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Holding a small bottle in his right hand, the firebrand leftist leader said Carvativir has already received an official health permit from Venezuelan authorities and will begin mass production this week.

“It is best known as the miraculous droplets of Jose Gregorio Hernandez,” said Maduro.

The name refers to a famous Venezuelan physician and religious figure who last year received beatification from the Vatican for treating the poor during the Spanish flu pandemic a century ago.

According to Maduro, all that is required to be cured of Covid-19 is to put 10 drops of the medicine under the tongue every four hours and, he claimed, “the miracle is done”, neutralising the infectious disease with absolutely no side effects.

With governments everywhere scrambling to get hold of proven vaccines for mass immunisation programmes, Carvativir's reputed powers would appear to be more good news for Venezuelans, after Maduro recently boasted — without providing much by way of evidence — that the country's oil production will triple this year.

The world — and indeed oil industry — can only wait and see if either boast produces any fruit.