KOTA KINABALU: The increasing cases of Covid-19 in Sabah lately was due to a backlog of sample results amounting to 18,000 before, says state Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun.
Masidi who is the minister tasked to handle Covid-19 issue in Sabah, said they have started tackling the backlog since the start of this month, and it has been reduced to 11,000, which they hope to address soon.
"The increase of cases in Sabah was also due to field screening being expanded at 15 red zone districts.
"So with the new and old cases, we expect the figure to continue to be high in the next few days," he said in a press conference on Sunday (Oct 18).
He also said in the past, they had relied on the PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) test which takes a lot of time, but now they are switching to the RTK (Rapid Test Kit).
Masidi said after discussing with state Health director Datuk Christina Rundi, he assured that the hospitals in Sabah can still handle the Covid-19 situation here even though it was considered serious.
"We recorded the highest figure of daily new cases at 702 today (Sunday).
"But I can assure that we can still manage.
"We have turned many facilities into makeshift wards and quarantine centres for less serious cases, and those with whole families infected, we can suggest home quarantine.
"Only the serious cases will be admitted in hospitals," he said.
So far, Masidi said 383 Covid-19 patients are being treated in hospitals state-wide and 4,174 are placed in makeshift additional wards.
On another question, Masidi said Chief Minister Datuk Hajiji Noor is expected to return to his duties in the middle of next week after recovering from the infection.