Western Europe, particularly Spain, Italy Germany and France, has been hit with infection levels not seen in many months, sparking fears of a fully-fledged second wave.

And in Asia, South Korea became the latest country to announce it would boost restrictions to try to stem a new outbreak, after largely bringing the virus under control.

Across the world, the number of deaths has doubled to just over 800,000 since June 6, with 100,000 fatalities in the last 17 days alone, while more than 23 million cases have been reported.

Latin America is the region the most affected, while more than half the global fatalities have been reported in the hardest-hit United States, Brazil, Mexico and India.The surging numbers come after the UN health agency said Friday that the world should be able to rein in the pandemic in less than two years.

 “We have a disadvantage of globalisation, closeness, connectedness, but an advantage of better technology, so we hope to finish this pandemic before less than two years,” he said.”(By) utilising the available tools to the maximum and hoping that we can have additional tools like vaccines, I think we can finish it in a shorter time than the 1918 flu.”