The Philippines reported an additional nearly 2500 cases Friday, bringing the country total to 61,266. The National Capital Region (NCR), or Metro Manila area accounted for 1886 of these new cases.

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Today, Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque announced the NCR will remain under general community quarantine (GCQ) starting July 16 until July 31.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte also warned that the National Capital Region would be placed under a stricter modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) if there is a continuous spike in the number of COVID-19 cases.

So far, authorities recorded at least 29,015 COVID-19 cases in Metro Manila with 922 fatalities and 11,813 recoveries.

In related news, The Philippines now has 85 certified laboratories capable of testing specimens from coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) patients.

In its July 15 situation report, the Department of Health (DOH) said there are 63 licensed RT-PCR (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction) laboratories and 22 licensed GeneXpert laboratories improving the country’s testing capacity.