COVID-19 cases in PH break 12,000 mark

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​Metro Manila sees 144 new infections a day before the easing of quarantine measures.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 15) — The Philippines now has 12,091 cases of the coronavirus disease as the Department of Health confirmed 215 new infections on Friday.

The agency reported in its 4:00 p.m. bulletin that 123 more people recovered from the viral illness, bringing the total number of survivors to 2,460.

Meanwhile, 16 more patients died from the disease. The death toll is now at 806.

Majority of the country's COVID-19 cases are in Metro Manila. Of the newly reported infections, 144 or 67 percent are in the capital region.

Metro Manila will be under a modified enhanced community quarantine starting Saturday. More businesses are allowed to reopen but most people are still ordered to stay home.

READ: What daily life would be like in areas under modified ECQ, GCQ

Laguna province and Cebu City will also be placed under MECQ. Other local government units have appealed for stricter lockdown rules in their areas as coronavirus cases continue to rise.

While more people may be allowed outside, health authorities call on the public to continue practicing social distancing measures to prevent further spread of the virus.

Carlito Galvez Jr., chief implementer of the National Task Force on COVID-19, said the country now has a stable supply of personal protective equipment to shield frontliners handling infected patients, with more deliveries coming.

Some 2,245 healthcare workers have contracted the disease, with 779 recoveries and 35 deaths.

The country's 30 testing laboratories can now process up to 14,500 samples per day. The government aims to scale testing capacity up to 30,000 tests daily by the end of the month.

Among Filipinos abroad, a total of 2,331 have contracted COVID-19. The Department of Foreign Affairs said more recoveries than infections are being reported.

The agency recorded no new fatalities among infected overseas Filipinos for the second consecutive day on Friday. The death toll stood at 269 while recoveries rose to 789.

The government allows overseas Filipino workers to return to the country, but they can only go home once cleared after a 14-day quarantine.