Experts remain concerned that the official figures for deaths and cases globally underrepresent the real tally because of inadequate testing and recording and the possibility of concealment by some countries.
The response to the pandemic has pitted proponents of health measures like lockdowns against those intent on sustaining politically sensitive economic growth, with approaches differing from country to country.
The US, Brazil and India, which together account for nearly 45% of all Covid-19 deaths globally, have all lifted social-distancing measures in recent weeks.
“The American people should anticipate that cases will rise in the days ahead,” US vice-president Mike Pence warned on Monday.
India, meanwhile, has recorded the highest daily growth in infections in the world, with an average of 87,500 new cases a day since the beginning of September.
On current trends, India will overtake the US as the country with the most confirmed cases by the end of the year, even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government pushes ahead with easing lockdown measures in a bid to support a struggling economy.
Despite the surge in cases, India’s death toll of about 95,500, and pace of growth of fatalities, remain below those of the US, Britain and Brazil.
In Europe, which accounts for nearly 25% of deaths, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned of a worrying spread in Western Europe just weeks away from the winter flu season.
The WHO has also warned the pandemic still needs major control interventions amid rising cases in Latin America, where many countries have started to resume normal life.
Much of Asia, the first region affected by the pandemic, is experiencing a relative lull after emerging from a second wave.