The number of people around the world who have died of the coronavirus has passed the 600,000 mark as countries from the United States to South Africa to India struggle to contain infections.
Hong Kong also warned of a resurgence in the virus as it issued tougher new rules on the wearing of face masks.
Concerns are rising that the pandemic has found fresh legs over the past few weeks, with Johns Hopkins University and the World Health Organisation both recording daily highs in newly reported infections.
Pope Francis said that "the pandemic is showing no sign of stopping" and pointed to those whose suffering from the outbreak is worsened by conflicts.
While the US leads global infections, South Africa now ranks as the fifth worst-hit country in the pandemic with more than 350,000 cases, or around half of all those confirmed on the continent. Its struggles are a sign of potential trouble to come for nations with even fewer health care resources.
India, which has now confirmed more than a million infections, on Sunday reported a 24-hour record surge of 38,902 new cases.
In Europe, where infections are far from their peak in the spring but local outbreaks are causing concern, leaders of the 27-nation European Union haggled for a third day in Brussels over a proposed EU budget and coronavirus recovery fund.
Confirmed global deaths from or with COVID-19 rose to more than 602,000, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins.
The US tops the list with over 140,000, followed by more than 78,000 in Brazil, 45,000 in the United Kingdom and 38,000 in Mexico.
The number of confirmed infections worldwide has passed 14.2 million, with 3.7 million accounted for by the United States alone. Brazil has witnessed more than 2 million while India has recorded over 1 million.
Experts believe the true numbers around the world are higher because of testing shortages and data collection issues in some nations.
Following a recent surge in cases, Hong Kong made the wearing of masks mandatory in all public places and told non-essential civil servants to work from home.
Speaking on Sunday from his studio window overlooking St. Peter's Square, Pope Francis renewed his appeal for an immediate worldwide ceasefire that he said "will permit the peace and security indispensable to supplying the necessary humanitarian assistance".