‘500 participants, not countries’: Dr Adham Baba explains slip of tongue in Covid-19 video call

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba said today he made a mistake in telling Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi that he joined a conference call with 500 countries. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, April 19 — Facing ridicule and mockery, Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba said today he made a mistake in telling Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi that he joined a conference call with “500 countries”.

In a report by The Star, the health minister said he had actually meant that he had spoken with 500 participants instead.

“I mistakenly said 500 countries — what I meant was 500 participants from all around the world, “ he told The Star.

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He also explained that only 50 countries had participated in the video conference call with the World Health Organisation.

The United Nations recognises 193 sovereign states as its members, with the Holy See and the State of Palestine as observer states. Some also consider Taiwan and Kosovo as sovereign states.

Dr Adham was recorded making the gaffe when talking with Umno president Zahid in another video conference call posted on the latter’s Facebook page.

Ahmad Zahid did not correct Dr Adham during the session, while the health minister became the brunt of jokes on social media.

Last month, Dr Adham was similarly mocked after he recommended that Malaysians should drink warm water to ensure their mouths and throats are always moist, as this will help to wash the virus down the oesophagus, so that it can be killed by stomach acid.

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