The World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General said Monday that the threat of a COVID-19 pandemic has become “very real”. Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus added that it would, however, be the first pandemic in history that could be controlled. “The bottom line is we are not at the mercy of the virus,” Dr Tedros told a WHO news conference in Geneva on Monday.
Around the globe, more and more events were cancelled or hidden behind closed doors, from the pope’s Sunday service to a Formula One car race in Bahrain to a sumo competition in Japan, where wrestlers arrived at the arena in face masks and were required to use hand sanitizer before entering. In Saudi Arabia, all schools and universities were to close starting Monday, following similar moves in central China, Japan and other Gulf countries. Questions grew about whether to maintain U.S. presidential campaign rallies and other potential “super-spreading” gatherings of people, as the virus entered new U.S. states.