Malacañang on Tuesday said the Philippines was not starting from scratch in its fight against the pandemic despite a recent spike in Covid-19 cases.

“We are not back to square one,” Palace spokesman Harry Roque said, responding to Sen. Joel Villanueva’s comment that the country has returned to “square one” instead of “moving forward.”

Roque, who has tested positive for Covid-19, said the country was better equipped, pointing to better facilities and more clinical and ward beds.

The spokesman added that a huge chunk of Covid-19 cases did not exhibit symptoms.

“Ang anyo naman po ng Covid-19, kagaya ko po asymptomatic, napakadami po namin, kung titingnan ninyo iyong numbers, mahigit 600,000 po kaming ganito na nagpositibo. Pero iyon nga po – kakaunti naman po and thank God – na iyong mga kinakailangang mag-ospital, iyon po iyong ating inaalagaan,” he said.

The country, as of March 16, has recorded 631,320 Covid-19 cases.

According to the Department of Health, 96.6 percent of the country’s active cases are either mild or asymptomatic.

Severe and critical cases make up 2.6 percent of the number, while the remaining 0.68 percent are considered moderate cases.

The country, more than a year removed from the first imposition of lockdowns, is seeing a rise in daily cases the past few weeks.

Roque said the country “could do better” and that the government was also “aiming to do better.”

“Pero sa tingin ko po, we have done the best that we could under the circumstance, at ngayon nga po nandoon na tayo sa stage na malapit na po ang solusyon dahil papasok na po ang mga bakuna,” he added. John Ezekiel J. Hirro