A UK-based Malaysian doctor has disputed Health Minister Dr Adham Baba’s claim that drinking warm water can prevent one from being infected by Covid-19.
Dr Nur Amalina Che Bakri, in a tweet, said it was not recommended by doctors and neither was it “evidence-based”.
She said this in response to the tip Adham gave during a televised interview on the pandemic, which has already claimed the lives of three Malaysians and infected over a thousand others.
Amalina went on to say that while drinking water was good to keep one hydrated “it doesn’t inactivate the virus in any way”.
“When the virus is in our body, drinking hot water won’t weaken it,” she said, adding there was also no evidence that the acid in one’s stomach could kill the virus.
She also shared an infographic by the World Health Organisation that said drinking water does not prevent the Covid-19 infection.
Amalina said this tip about drinking water was just a “myth”.
The right thing to do, she stressed, was to practise good hygiene, avoid touching the face, staying at home, and maintaining social distance, among others.
When it was pointed out by a Twitter user that she was being bashed on Facebook for disputing the minister, Amalina said she was basing her argument on WHO’s advice and evidence-based medicine.
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.
Dr Lee rubbishes health minister’s claim that drinking warm water can help prevent Covid-19
Former deputy health minister Dr Lee Boon Chye has become the latest medical expert to debunk a claim made by Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba that drinking warm water can help to prevent the Covid-19 infection.
Taking to social media, Dr Lee explained that both the respiratory tract and gastrointestinal system possess different routes despite sharing a common area within the throat.
He also attached a diagram of the respiratory tract which showed the pharynx — a passage that contains the intersection between the oesophagus (throat) and the larynx.
“Covid-19 is an internal respiratory tract infection, whereby infected patients would have traces of the virus in the respiratory tract and not just in the throat.
“Even though warm temperature and warm water can kill viruses, you’d actually have to pump hot water into the lungs and this will flood the lungs and kill the patient before the virus dies!
“Drinking warm water is not an effective way to treat or prevent Covid-19 infection. Same goes to consuming alcohol as reported in Iran which does not kill the viruses,” he said on Facebook in response to Dr Adham’s remark.
In the anatomy of the respiratory system, the opening of the larynx has a special flap of cartilage — called the epiglottis — that opens to allow air to pass through but closes to prevent food from moving into the airway.