US president Donald Trump warned "a rough two weeks are coming up", with now more than 1.1 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 around the world.
British prime minister Boris Johnson was admitted to hospital on Sunday night with "persistent symptoms" of the virus, according to a statement from Downing Street.
The death toll from the pandemic is nearing 63,000 people, the World Health Organisation said yesterday.
WHO said China was emerging from a two-month containment phase and into the mitigation phase and its experience was helping countries at the start of the cycle to plan their responses better.
Today is a public holiday in China.
Key markets had closed lower on Friday but Japan's Nikkei 225 had managed a 0.01% gain.
Gold is hovering about US$1,615 an ounce on the spot market.
Among the mining majors, Rio Tinto (LSE: RIO) had risen 1% on Friday in London, while Newmont (NYSE: NEM) closed more than 2% lower in New York.
The Australian market was up in morning trade and BHP (ASX: BHP) was 1.6% higher at the time of writing.
However, market participants were "increasingly resigned to the overwhelming likelihood that the Australian economy will enter its first recession in nearly 29 years because of the effects of the COVID-19 crisis," IG market analyst Kyle Rodda said today ahead of the country's Reserve Bank meeting tomorrow.