The World Health Organization on Wednesday declared coronavirus a pandemic, signaling that health experts believe efforts should be focused less on containing the virus and more on stockpiling materials, getting hospitals ready to handle an influx of patients and enacting social distancing policies.

“We are deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity and by the alarming levels of inaction,” WHO Director-General Ted ros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

The declaration came as the number of novel coronavirus cases surpassed 120,000 worldwide. In the United States, where more than 30 people have been killed by the coronavirus, the total number of cases has doubled in a matter of days, surpassing 1,000 late Tuesday….


The pressure on the NCAA and professional sports leagues to hold games without fans escalated Wednesday when the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases advised against large gatherings.

“We would recommend that there not be large crowds,” Anthony Fauci said during a congressional hearing. “If that means not having any people in the audience when the NBA plays, so be it. But as a public health official, anything that has large crowds is something that would give a risk to spread.”

On Tuesday, the Ivy League canceled its conference basketball tournaments, and two other conferences decided to hold their tournaments in mostly empty arenas.

Meanwhile, the NBA’s Golden State Warriors played in front of a crowd Tuesday night against recommendations from local government and health officials….