KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 18 — Sabah’s 702 new Covid-19 cases reported today can be attributed to the large quantity of samples sent to the Institute of Medical Research for analysis, Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said today.

With Sabah at the forefront of the ongoing outbreak as the biggest number of Covid-19 cases reported in recent weeks, Dr Noor Hisham said the cumulative Covid-19 cases recorded to date in Sabah stood at 7,439 cases or 36.3 per cent of the accumulative cases recorded in the country.

“Today, Sabah recorded their highest number of cases at 702 or 80.6 per cent of the cases reported.

The leap in recorded cases today is attributed to the samples from Sabah that were sent to the Institute of Medical Research in large quantities,” he said in a press conference.

To date, the positivity rate in Sabah is 2.96 per cent, according to Dr Noor Hisham.

He also revealed that a total of 251,030 individuals in Sabah have been screened since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic last year

“Said number is derived from active case detections performed by public health officials as a means to curb the spread of Covid-19 in Sabah,” he said.

Of the 702 cases recorded in Sabah, Dr Noor Hisham said 572 were from various Covid-19 screenings, 81 from existing clusters and 49 from a newly emerged cluster.

Earlier today, Malaysia reached another record daily high of new cases at 871, beating the previous highest record of 869 cases reported yesterday.

Local transmission comprised 866 of the total reported cases while the remaining five cases were imported.