India was firmly in focus as the latest epicentre, although North and South America combined accounted for almost half of the global cases.
Global new daily case numbers reached record levels in recent days and deaths neared 1 million as the international race to develop and market a vaccine heated up.
The official number of global coronavirus cases is now more than five times the number of severe influenza illnesses recorded annually, according to World Health Organization data.
Around the world, there have been almost 1 million deaths, considered a lagging indicator given the two-week incubation period of the virus. That has well exceeded the upper range of 290,000 to 650,000 annual deaths linked to influenza.