The Philippines recorded 1,540 new Covid-19 infections on Tuesday, bringing the country’s tally to 47,873.

The Department of Health (DOH) said 993 of the new cases were “fresh” or newly validated, of which 428 cases came from the National Capital Region, 109 from Region VII, and 456 from other areas.

The health department said 547 of the cases were late, of which 191 came from the National Capital Region, 65 from Region VII, and 291 from other areas.

Of the total cases, 34,178 were active — either undergoing treatment or under quarantine.

In a virtual presser, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire debunked speculations that the country was on a second wave of the pandemic.

“We are not experiencing a second wave, but an increase in the number of positive cases due to an increase in testing and because there is community transmission because of the lack of implementation of minimum health standards,” Vergeire said.

“The increase has been gradual, and our health system is able to cope with the increasing number of cases,” she added.

The country’s death toll rose to 1,309 with six new patients dying from the respiratory disease.

Recoveries spiked to 12,386 with 201 more patients winning the battle against Covid-19.

Spike expected – Roque

The recent spike in Covid-19 cases in the country came as expected, Malacañang said.

“Hindi na po nakapagtataka iyang pagtaas ng kaso ng Covid habang wala pa pong bakuna, habang wala pa pong gamot,” Palace spokesman Harry Roque said in a virtual presser Tuesday.

Roque said the number should not cause alarm, as most of the cases were “mild” and “asymptomatic.”

“So sa akin po, wala naman pong dahilan para mabahala, kinakailangan lang po talaga ipatupad natin iyong siguradong mga armas natin laban sa Covid-19 … wearing of mask, social distancing and paghuhugas ng kamay, at pananatiling malusog,” he added.

Last week, Roque received backlash for saying that the country had  beaten a forecast made by University of the Philippines-led OCTA Research Team, which projected 40,000 cases by end-June. The country had 37,514 Covid-19 cases at the time.

The same research team predicted 60,000-70,000 infections in the country by end-July, and 100,000 by end-August.

Many establishments have resumed operations as community quarantine protocols in the country were eased.

The second phase of the country’s action plan against Covid-19 aims to “strategically balance” efforts to improve public health and economy, officials said.

The Philippines has the most number of active cases in the Asean region, at 34,178. RJ Espartinez and John Ezekiel J. Hirro