KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 18 — Public health officials’ rush to clear the backlog of patients awaiting for Covid-19 results is a factor behind’s the country’s sudden spikes of daily positive cases, said Health Director-General Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah today.

In his daily press briefing today, Dr Noor Hisham explained that public health officials are working hard to clear the backlog of cases of persons awaiting their Covid-19 test result in Sabah, amid a high number of cases detected in the East Malaysian state.

“We do initially have the backlog but now we have cleared the backlog, that’s the reason for the sudden increase of cases.

“Once we have cleared the backlog, we hope that it will be in a timely manner for the result to come back and our staff can trace those positive cases so that we can admit them to low-risk quarantine centres or send them to the hospital,’’ he said.

This comes as reports of a severe backlog in testing results leading to some patients waiting for more than three days to be admitted in the hospital for further care.

Dr Noor Hisham also reiterated that RT-PCR test capacity in Sabah have been increased to 2,600 RT-PCR tests a day with RT-PCR samples being sent daily to the Institute of Medical Research and the National Public Health Laboratory.

Some 100,000 RTK Antigen test kits have also been sent to Sabah as means to further with testing in the state, said Dr Noor Hisham.

Today, Malaysia recorded 871 new covid-19 positive cases and 701 new recoveries — the highest recorded daily tally to date.

However, Malaysia also records seven new deaths related to Covid-19 today, a peak previously achieved back in March 29 during the second wave.