KOTA KINABALU: Samples for the Real-Time Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) novel coronavirus (Covid-19) test are processed in Kota Kinabalu Public Health Laboratory and Queen Elizabeth Hospital Laboratory, while some samples are sent to laboratory out of Sabah for testing.
State health director Datuk Dr Christina Rundi said such approach would help overcome the backlog of test samples.
“However, if there are new positive Covid-19 cases, persons under investigation (PUI) cases or severe acute respiratory illness (Sari) patients and targeted screening, the laboratories will receive a large number of samples.
“As a result, the laboratories will not be able to produce the test results within 48 to 72 hours as scheduled.”
She said this in response to queries about the capability of the health laboratories in detecting Covid-19 infections in Sabah in a press statement.
Dr Rundi also expressed her appreciation to the laboratory workers who had worked hard since the Covid-19 outbreak to ensure the samples were processed despite facing challenges in shortage of reagents and having to go through large number of samples.
On another note, she said 10 new positive cases were reported on Saturday in Lahad Datu (three), Tawau (two) and one case each in Beaufort, Kota Kinabalu, Penampang, Sandakan and Tuaran.
She said the two cases reported in Tawau on Saturday consisted of the other tabligh cluster (one) while another was a first-generation case of the Sri Petaling tabligh cluster.
Meanwhile, the three cases reported in Lahad Datu on the same day were sporadic cases, which were detected through targeted screening conducted on April 12.
On the other hand, three new cases reported in Tuaran (one), Penampang (one) and Kota Kinabalu (one) were first-generation contacts of healthcare workers.
Dr Rundi added that the new case in Sandakan was a sporadic case while the single new case from Beaufort was from the tabligh cluster who attended the gathering in Makassar, Indonesia.