There were more than half a million new coronavirus infections recorded across the world in a 24-hour period this weekend.
The BBC reports 506,512 as the latest daily figure of new Covid-19 diagnoses – the first time that more than half a million new cases have been recorded in a 24-hour period.
That staggering figure is also backed up by the John Hopkins University, which maintains global statistics on coronavirus and recorded 506,000.
The World Health Organisation has recorded the slightly lower figure of 465,000 new cases for the same period – still a record for new cases recorded by the WHO.
The milestone comes as new modelling suggests more than half a million Americans could die from coronavirus by the end of February. The US has recorded more than 8.8 million cases of the deadly virus, with more than 230,000 deaths so far.
According to modelling by the University of Washington, that death toll could double to more than 511,000 lives lost by February 28 next year.
And as infection rates soar across Europe, the World Health Organisation has warned of an "exponential" rise in cases across the continent.
Several countries in Europe are reporting infection rates higher than during the first wave of the pandemic in March and April.
Spain's "real number" of infections is more than three million, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said yesterday, just two days after the country officially became the first European Union country to pass a million cases.
"Too many countries are seeing an exponential increase in Covid-19 cases and that is now leading to hospitals and intensive care units running close to or above capacity – and we're still only in October," WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual press conference this week.
'Greatest crisis of our age'
The head of the United Nations said Sunday that "the Covid-19 pandemic is the greatest crisis of our age."
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres opened an online session of the World Health Summit with a call for worldwide solidarity in the global crisis and demanded that developed countries support health systems in countries that are short of resources.
The coronavirus pandemic is the overarching theme of the summit, which originally had been scheduled for Berlin. Several of the leaders and experts who spoke at the opening stressed the need to cooperate across borders.
"No one is safe from Covid-19. No one is safe until we are all safe from it," said German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
"Even those who conquer the virus within their own borders remain prisoners within these borders until it is conquered everywhere."