THE Department of Health (DoH) reported 1,521 new coronavirus infections on Monday, bringing the total to 69,898.

The death toll rose to 1,835 after four more patients died, while recoveries increased by 607 to 23,072, it said in a bulletin.

Of 43,991 active cases, 90.6% were mild, 8.5% did not show symptoms and less than 1% were severe or critical. DoH said 1.1 million people have been tested for the virus.

Meanwhile, experts from the University of the Philippines projected infections to reach 76,000 by August.

Cases will rise in the coming days and could hit 76,000 by Aug. 1, Darwin Bandoy, an associate professor at the UP-Los Baños, said at an online briefing.

Mr. Bandoy, a member of the UP COVID-19 Pandemic Response Team, said cases in the Philippines had been increasing even if the death rate remained at 2%.

He traced the increase to community transmissions “in areas with poor compliance with minimum health standards and increase in detection with expanded testing capacity.”

“The decrease in case fatality rate is attributed to the overall improvement in the healthcare system particularly patient management,” he said.

Mr. Bandoy also said the virus had a reproductive number of one, which means one positive patient could infect one more person.

“We don’t need to be scared of these models because we can use them to change behaviors and improve our response,” he said. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas