MANILA, March 15 (Rappler) – In an attempt to arrest the spread of the novel coronavirus in the Philippines, the Duterte government began on Sunday, March 15, its lockdown of Metro Manila, the country's most populous and developed region.

Effective Sunday midnight, the area of over 12 million people was placed in a state of "community quarantine," which involves a ban on land, domestic air, and domestic sea travels in and out of the region.

While the lockdown is intended for a month, until April 14, Malacañang said the inter-agency task force leading government efforts in dealing with the coronavirus outbreak could recommend to President Rodrigo Duterte an earlier termination or extension of the lockdown.

The lockdown covers 16 cities and one municipality of Metro Manila, as prescribed by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

The government imposed the measure after recorded coronavirus cases in the country spiked from 6 to 111 cases in a span of one week ,from March 7 to 14. Most of the cases are in Metro Manila.