Confirmed COVID-19 cases have exceeded 9.7 million globally, with over 490,000 fatalities and more than 4.8 million recoveries, according to the latest tally from Johns Hopkins University.
The U.S. has recorded over 2.45 million confirmed cases, with a death toll of over 124,000. The CDC also gave a grim estimate that only about one in every 10 COVID-19 cases in the U.S. has been identified.
Anthony Fauci, the nation's top health expert, warned that some parts of the country are facing "a serious problem" and the White House coronavirus task force is "seriously considering" pool testing for COVID-19.
The World Health Organization (WHO) chief warned the number of coronavirus cases around the world is set to reach 10 million "within the next week."
WHO's regional director for Europe said there has been a resurgence of cases as many countries begin to ease restrictions.
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence on Friday sounded a note of optimism about the novel coronavirus pandemic, saying that 34 states show a measure of stabilizing numbers of new cases, but encouraged people to continue social distancing and other strategies to help contain the spread of the virus.
Pence, at the first U.S. coronavirus task force briefing in months, said that 16 states are seeing an increase in infections and that the federal government is focused on rising cases in the South.
Spanish virologists have found traces of the novel coronavirus in a sample of Barcelona waste water collected in March 2019, nine months before the COVID-19 disease was identified in China, the University of Barcelona said on Friday (Jun 26).
The discovery of virus genome presence so early in Spain, if confirmed, would imply the disease may have appeared much earlier than the scientific community thought.
They first found the virus was present in Barcelona on January 15, 2020, 41 days before the first case was officially reported there.
Then they ran tests on samples taken between January 2018 and December 2019 and found the presence of the virus genome in one of them, collected on March 12, 2019.
"The levels of SARS-CoV-2 were low but were positive," research leader Albert Bosch was quoted as saying by the university.
The Beijing Health Commission said on Saturday that 17 new locally transmitted COVID-19 cases were recorded on Friday, raising total infections to 297 since June 11, when the first case of Beijing's Xinfadi market cluster was detected.
Brazil registered 46,860 new cases of the novel coronavirus in the last 24 hours and 990 additional deaths, the Health Ministry said on Friday.
The nation has now registered 1,274,974 total confirmed COVID-19 cases and 55,961 deaths.