KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 21 — Lack of education and understanding of Covid-19 and its symptoms as well as failure to cooperate with health officials are the primary reasons the coronavirus continues to spread wildly in Sabah, Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said today.

The Health director-general said patient awareness and education “is a little lacking in Sabah compared to peninsular Malaysia”.

“Another challenge we face is when we want to admit them when they are asymptomatic but positive, we have issues in terms of getting them into the hospital,” he said in explaining the government’s challenges in containing the infection in the east Borneo state.

Sabah has been registering the highest number of new daily Covid-19 cases nationwide since last month, after the state held an election on September 26.

Today’s new cases alone stood at 535, with three new clusters formed in Sabah and six new deaths recorded there.

Dr Noor Hisham added that health officials have to work with police to ensure all cases — be it asymptomatic or mild — must be taken straight to the nearest Covid-19 hospital.

“Sometimes, people even try to run away when they see health officials coming in. We have to work closely with the police and army to see how best we can contain this issue,” he said.