Latin America has leap-frogged Europe to record the second-highest total of coronavirus cases of any continent, and is now second only to North America.
There are now more than 2.7million confirmed cases of the virus in Central and Southern America and the Caribbean, narrowly topping the 2.69million in Europe.
The rise is largely being driven by a rampant outbreak in Brazil, where the official case total is now just shy of 1.5million.
Latin America has recorded 2.7million coronavirus infections, overtaking Europe which has 2.69million and is now secondly-only to North America
Europe, where the infection has been spreading the longest, still has the most deaths – but North and Latin America are catching up and are due to overtake by the end of the month
North America has more than 2.8million confirmed cases of the virus, almost 98 per cent of which are in the United States.
Deaths in both North and Latin America are still lagging behind those in Europe, where the infection has been spreading for longer.
The continent has just under 200,000 deaths from the virus while North America has 137,000 and Latin America has 121,000.
However, both of those totals are now rising much faster than the toll in Europe and at the current rate will overtake it by the end of the month.
The spike has seen governors in several hard-hit American states roll back plans to reopen bars and restaurants, though moves are still going ahead in Brazil – urged on by President Bolsonaro.
Popular tourist city Rio de Janeiro recently authorised bars, restaurants and cafes to reopen at 50 per cent capacity.
Europe has also been cautiously easing lockdown restrictions in an attempt to find a way to a ‘new normal’, and has yet to see a resurgence in the disease.
Massively ramped-up testing programmes along with track and trace apps are being deployed in an attempt to snuff out local outbreaks before they can mushroom into widespread epidemics.
The rise has been fuelled largely by a rampant outbreak in Brazil, which has recorded a total of 1.5million cases (pictured, indigenous peoples are pictured wearing face masks)
North America has the most coronavirus infections at 2.8million, around 98 per cent of which are in the USA (pictured, a hospital in Texas which has seen cases soar in recent weeks)
In Asia, where track and trace has been common since the start of the pandemic, case and death tolls have remained comparatively low.
The continent has recorded a total of 36,000 deaths from 1.3million cases.
The Middle East, which was also quick to go into lockdown with the exception of hard-hit Iran, there have been 16,959 deaths from 785,842 cases.
Africa, which was also an early adopter of lockdowns and has a much younger population on average than all other continents, there has been 10,609 deaths from 433,436 cases.
Oceania – including Australia and New Zealand which were quick to declare victory over COVID – has suffered just 133 deaths from 9,585 cases.
However, fears of a second wave are now growing, particularly in Australia where the second-largest city of Melbourne has seen cases soar in the past week.
The global hunt for a coronavirus vaccine continues but there has been a ray of hope.
The European Commission, the bloc’s executive arm, on Friday authorised the use of anti-viral drug remdesivir to treat the new coronavirus.
Two US studies have showed it can reduce the length of hospital stays.
Swiss authorities also gave the drug the green light.
Having once been the epicentre, Europe is now easing its way out of lockdowns which have suppressed the disease, with pubs set to reopen in the UK tomorrow (pictured)
However the United States announced earlier this week that it had purchased 92 per cent of all remdesivir production by the California-based Gilead laboratory until the end of September.
Globally, almost 11million cases of coronavirus have been registered in 196 countries and territories, along with more than half a million deaths.
The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections.
Many countries are testing only symptomatic or the most serious cases.
The United States is the worst-hit country with 128,740 deaths from 2,739,879 cases. At least 781,970 people have been declared recovered.
After the US, the hardest-hit countries are Brazil with 61,884 deaths from 1,496,858 cases, the United Kingdom with 43,995 deaths from 283,757 cases, Italy with 34,818 deaths from 240,961 cases, and France with 29,875 deaths from 202,785 cases.
The UK case figures have been revised down from the 313,483 reported previously after the authorities changed their counting method.
China – excluding Hong Kong and Macau – has to date declared 83,542 cases (5 new since Thursday), including 4,634 deaths and 78,499 recoveries.