"The focus is shifting to the fiscal response to the virus".
The growing sense of crisis rocked financial markets Monday, particularly on Wall Street, where the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 12.9%.
The first confirmed cases of COVID-19 were reported in Somalia, which has one of Africa's weakest health systems after almost three decades of conflict between the government and the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab extremist group.
Only China, Italy and Iran have more infections than Spain, where the number increased by roughly 20%, to 9,191 and fatalities rose to 309, according to the Spanish Health Ministry.
The actual figure is presumed to be higher because Spain has switched to a new system of reporting.
Countries from Canada to Switzerland, Russia and Malaysia announced sharp new restrictions on the movement of people across their borders.
"We have a window of time at the moment to slow the spread of the virus", said Ulrike Demmer, a spokeswoman for Germany's government, which reversed its earlier insistence that border controls would not work.
The report had data collected from several portals including the World Health Organisation (WHO). Transport workers could also be exempt to help keep goods flowing.
But countries from Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines have recently recorded a high rate of infections in recent days.
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus urged widespread testing to keep track of the pandemic, saying the World Health Organization has shipped nearly 1.5 millions tests to 120 countries.
The continued acceleration of cases comes as countries around the world rush to implement emergency measures in an effort to contain the virus and enforce social distancing, including nationwide lockdowns, imposing border and travel restrictions, school closures and ordering restaurants, cafes, and bars to close or reduce services. The measures exclude health-care operations as well as supermarkets, but include entertainment and leisure facilities, which will be closed until April 19.
In Asia, where the virus has been a brutal fact of life for months, authorities urged vigilance to keep hard-won gains against the microscopic foe that has shut down travel, severely rattled financial markets, upended daily life and was threatening the livelihoods of millions.
In the United States, health officials recommended a limit to groups of 50 or more people and a government expert said a 14-day national shutdown may be needed.
Americans returning from overseas encountered chaotic airport health screenings which clearly broke all virus-fighting rules forbidding large crowds. More than 79,000 people have recovered from the illness.
In Southeast Asia, which shares a scorching tropical local weather, many worldwide locations had reported few circumstances even months after the preliminary outbreak on the finish of final 12 months in China, regardless of the area's shut journey, enterprise and funding ties to China.
Indonesia, which exclusively recorded its first circumstances on March 2, had carried out exclusively 220 exams every week in the past however that has now risen to just about a thousand.
Others are scrambling to get home, caught up in widespread travel restrictions.
The move came as Chinese officials said the outbreak had mostly run its course domestically but they remained vigilant against imported cases.
"We are facing what is an unprecedented situation and that is going to require an unprecedented response", said James Slack, a spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Why are some countries advising non-essential travel while others are banning it? Italy has 27,980 positive cases, with 3,233 cases recorded on March 16 alone. With 2,158 deaths - including 349 more in just the last 24 hours - Italy now accounts for well over a quarter of the global death toll. Cases, however, slowed in Lombardy, the hardest-hit region.