The World Health Organisation reported a record increase in global coronavirus cases on Sunday, with the total rising by 183,020 in a 24-hour period.
The biggest increase was from North and South America with over 116,000 new cases, according to a daily report.
The death toll passed 50,000 in Brazil on Sunday, underlining Latin America’s desperate struggle to contain the disease, as Europe’s gradual emergence from lockdown was marked by Spain reopening its borders.
Brazil is the second worst-affected country behind the US, and the spread of Covid-19 is increasing across Latin America, with Mexico, Peru and Chile also hard-hit as death tolls soar with healthcare facilities on the brink.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who has been fiercely criticised for calling the virus a “little flu”, believes the economic impact of shutdowns is often worse than the virus itself.
But Mexico City has delayed reopening markets, restaurants, malls, hotels and places of worship, with the country now recording more than 20,000 Covid-19 deaths.
Highlighting the region’s woes, Peru passed 8,000 deaths on Sunday despite preparing to reopen shopping malls on Monday.
Global cases have passed 8.7 million with more than 461,000 deaths, according to the WHO.
The previous record for new cases was 181,232 on June 18.
Clusters have also emerged in the Palestinian territories, Morocco and Iran, where officials have now registered more than 100 deaths a day for three days running.
Beijing is also battling a new outbreak of more than 200 cases.
The authorities have taken more than two million test samples and banned imports of chicken from an American producer, suspecting the virus could have been in contaminated food.
Although the spread has slowed in Europe, it remains the worst-affected continent, with more than 2.5 million cases.