NEW DELHI: Coronavirus infections in India soared past five million on Wednesday, as the EU's chief warned against "vaccine nationalism" in the frantic global race to battle the disease.
Worldwide cases are rapidly approaching 30 million, with more than 936,000 known Covid-19 deaths since the virus emerged in China late last year. The global economy has been devastated and nations are struggling to contain new outbreaks.
India, home to 1.3 billion people, has reported some of the highest daily case jumps in the world recently.
And as Israel braced for a second lockdown from Friday, the resurgence of the virus there meant that Jerusalem's Great Synagogue will close for the first time over the Jewish New Year.
The spread of the virus has accelerated in some of the most populous parts of the world such as India, where the latest million infections were detected over just 11 days.
And some experts have warned that the total number of cases could be far higher in the vast nation, which has been easing one of the world's strictest lockdowns to help its reeling economy.
With scientists rushing to find an effective vaccination, nine candidates are in late-stage human trials - the final stage of clinical testing, according to the WHO.
But the United States has led wealthier nations already buying up millions of doses of promising models, prompting the WHO to call for the equitable distribution of doses to ensure poorer countries have access.
WHO emergencies director Michael Ryan, addressing European nations, warned it was time to "stop looking for unicorns" and take hard decisions to protect the most vulnerable with a potentially deadly winter approaching.