Asked if warm water kills Covid-19, Health D-G says only subscribes to evidence-based treatment

Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the ministry only uses treatments and medicines that are scientifically tested. — Reuters pic
Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the ministry only uses treatments and medicines that are scientifically tested. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, March 21 — The Health Ministry only uses treatments and medicines that were scientifically tested, Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said when asked about a minister’s claim that warm water neutralised the coronavirus disease (Covid-19)

According to the Health director-general, evidence-based medicine is one of the MOH’s pillars.

“So, in general, I am talking about in general, evidence-based medicine is important.

“Our decision to treat and manage patients is based on science and data. So if we have strong data we need to look into research and look into data before we can make any substantial claims,” he said.

Dr Noor Hisham was responding to reporters’ questions about Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba’s claim during a televised interview last night.

While the Health D-G diplomatically sidestepped the matter, former deputy health minister Dr Lee Boon Chye directly rebutted Dr Adham’s assertion.

Lee explained that both the respiratory tract and gastrointestinal system possess different routes despite sharing a common area within the throat.

Dr Lee pointed out that the Covid-19 is an internal respiratory tract infection, whereby infected patients would have traces of the virus in the respiratory tract and not just the throat.

In Dr Adham’s appearance on RTM’s Bicara Naratif programme earlier this week, he recommended that Malaysian should ensure their mouths and throats are always moist, as this will help wash the virus down the oesophagus, so that it can be killed by stomach acid.

Yesterday, United Kingdom-based Malaysian trainee surgeon Dr Nur Amalina Che Bakri, who first came to the attention of Malaysians when she helped pave the way for Ainul Mardhiah Ahmad Safiuddin’s successful tumour-removal operation in the UK, tweeted, “Not recommended by doctors and it is no evidence-based.”

According to a report by British broadcaster BBC, the rumour that drinking water at regular 15-minute intervals and keeping your mouth moist can protect you from Covid-19 is among the most widely shared myths about the disease.

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