RAPID COVID-19 TEST. Locally stranded individuals (LSIs) undergo rapid tests for coronavirus disease at the “Hatid Tulong” Program at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum on Saturday (July 25, 2020). The LSIs are subjected to similar tests before being transported to their respective provinces as part of the health and safety protocol. (PNA photo by Joey O. Razon)

MANILA – An official of the Department of Health (DOH) on Monday attributed the rising number of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) infections to the increased testing capacity and easing of mobility restrictions.

"There's an increase or trend per week. This is because of our increased testing capacity because we're also testing now asymptomatic individuals," DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said during a televised public briefing.

As of July 26, a total of 1,232,957 individual tests were performed by the 70 licensed RT-PCR (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction) laboratories and 23 licensed GeneXpert laboratories nationwide.

On Sunday, the DOH reported 2,110 new Covid-19 cases, raising the overall tally to 80,448.

Vergeire added that such increase is expected since community restrictions eased up and community transmission is already present.

She said the Inter Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases is set to discuss on Tuesday the nation's Covid-19 situation and provide a recommendation to President Rodrigo Duterte on the next steps to be taken, especially at the National Capital Region (NCR).

Majority of the newly announced cases are from the NCR with 1,345 cases, Cebu (304), Laguna (109), Negros Occidental (66) and Rizal (40).

The department also reported 382 new recoveries and 39 deaths. These figures bring the total number of recoveries to 26,110 and the total number of deaths to 1,932.

"Actually, our experts in the sub-technical working group on analytics have been studying for a week to see what's really happening, analyzing the situation and what form of intervention or community quarantine is right so we can manage our present situation better," she added. (PNA)