Month-long lockdown begins in Manila

Manila residents have been told events like concerts and movies are banned amid COVID-19 concerns

Thousands of government troops have set up checkpoints around the Philippine capital for the start of a month-long lockdown aimed at halting the spread of the new coronavirus in the country.

Police officers, soldiers and coast guard personnel were checking temperatures and identification cards of people passing through dozens of "control points" around metropolitan Manila on Sunday, where most of the confirmed cases have so far been reported.

Strict social distancing guidelines were also put in place in the area that covers 16 cities and one municipality with a combined population of nearly 13 million. This includes the cancellation of Catholic masses, reduced mall hours and restrictions on the number of passengers in public vehicles.

The Department of Health reported a total of 111 Covid-19 infections in the country as of Saturday night and eight deaths.