THE Department of Health on Wednesday reported 470 new coronavirus infections, bringing the total to 32,295.

The death toll rose to 1,204 after 18 more patients died, while recoveries climbed by 14 to 8,656, it said in a bulletin.

Of the new cases, 357 were reported in the past three days and 113 were reported late.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario S. Vergeire told an online news briefing 96% of the cases were mild, adding that patients have a bigger chance of getting well again.

She also said infections have been gradually increasing, allowing the country’s healthcare system to handle the health crisis.

Cases were likely to surge as the lockdown in many areas of the country are eased, she added.

The country has some COVID-19 hotspots including the cities of Cebu and Ormoc, and the provinces of Leyte and Samar, Ms. Vergeire said.

She said 6.9% of those tested for the virus were positive, a sign that “the testing we do is sufficient and the virus transmission is minimized.”

As of June 20, 594,499 tests had been conducted, 86,191 of which were done in the past seven days. About 12,348 tests were conducted daily and of the weekly total 37,776 were positive, Ms. Vergeire said.

The country had a death rate of 3.73% for the coronavirus, higher than its Southeast Asian peers but lower than the global average of 5.2%, she said.

Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration said people should use only the 17 face masks registered with the regulator.

“Retailers, hospitals and other healthcare facilities are hereby advised to procure only FDA-notified medical face masks from FDA licensed manufacturers and distributors,” according to an advisory.

The FDA also released a list of respirators such as N95, KN95 and similar face masks that failed regulatory tests.

“The public is advised not to use these respirators especially health care workers who provide care to COVID-19 patients in settings and areas where aerosol-generating procedures are undertaken,” it said. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas