KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 23 — Sabah, the current coronavirus epicentre in Malaysia, currently has 12,720 backlogged Covid-19 test samples that have yet to be cleared, the state government said today.
“This is a mixture of old backlogged samples or new samples that have just been sent for analysis,” Sabah Local Government and Housing Minister Masidi Manjun told a virtual press conference reporting on Sabah’s daily Covid-19 cases today.
“I see this figure as two aspects. One — there are backlogged samples waiting for test results. At the same time, the total number of backlogged samples shows the effort by the Sabah’s state health department carrying out tests at a larger area and involving more residents of Sabah.”
Masidi, who is the Sabah Covid-19 spokesperson, also said that the state government has submitted an application to the National Security Council (NSC) to extend the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) in Sabah that will be ending on October 26, as the state still has a high number of Covid-19 cases.
Sabah has recorded a total of 8,519 coronavirus cases from October 1 until today, with 71 deaths in the same period of time.
Today, Sabah reported 528 positive Covid-19 cases, bringing the number of active Covid-19 cases to 5,830 cases. Kota Kinabalu reported the highest number of cases today, 228 cases, out of which 61.4 per cent (140 cases) were from the Sepayan Prison cluster.
Tawau reported the second highest number of Covid-19 cases in Sabah today, 61 cases.
“The high number of cases in Tawau and Semporna is because of the test results that have just been obtained from the backlogged samples,” Masidi said.
There were eight Covid-19 death cases reported in Sabah as of today, the highest daily number of coronavirus fatalities in Sabah as of October. The youngest death reported in Sabah today was a 33-year-old Malaysian male with underlying kidney disease. Today’s eight Sabah deaths contributed to the nationwide death toll of 10 fatalities, the highest daily Covid-19 deaths recorded in the country.
Masidi also maintained today that there are stable Covid-19 patients in Sabah who are allowed home treatment. However, he did not specify the number of coronavirus patients who are under home treatment.
The federal Ministry of Health (MOH) Covid-19 management protocol does not list guidelines for home treatment of confirmed cases, as they must all be admitted to hospital, except for low-risk patients who may be admitted to Covid-19 quarantine and treatment centres.
Masidi also said today that all Covid-19 patients — even those above the age of 70 — will be given priority for treatment in the intensive care unit (ICU) if needed.
Furthermore, the state minister highlighted that among the Sabah patients who detected positive with coronavirus, 27.64 per cent were asymptomatic.
“Preliminary data shows 27.64 per cent (2,728 out of 9,868) cases were asymptomatic.”