The World Health Organisation has reported a record increase in global coronavirus cases, with the total rising by 228,102 in 24 hours.
The biggest increases were from the United States, Brazil, India and South Africa, according to a daily report.
The previous WHO record for new cases was 212,326 on July 4.
Deaths remained steady at about 5000 a day.
Global coronavirus cases exceeded 12 million on Wednesday, according to a Reuters tally, marking another milestone in the spread of the disease that has killed more than 555,000 people in seven months.
Dr Mike Ryan, head of the WHO’s emergencies program, said on Friday it was unlikely that the coronavirus would be eliminated.
“In the current situation it is unlikely we can eradicate this virus,” he told an online briefing from Geneva.
He said that, by extinguishing clusters of infection, the world could “potentially avoid the worst of having second peaks and having to move backwards in terms of lockdown”.
Maria Van Kerkhove, technical lead on the COVID-19 pandemic at the WHO, said on Friday that airborne transmission of the coronavirus had always been a concern but that droplets appeared to be the most common infection route.
“Aerosol transmission is one of the modes of transmission that we have been concerned about since the beginning, particularly in healthcare settings … where we know these droplets can be aerosolised – which means can stay in the air longer,” she said.
The WHO released new guidelines on the transmission of the coronavirus on Thursday that acknowledged some reports of airborne transmission but stopped short of confirming that it spreads through the air, a route that cannot be blocked by the social distancing now common around the world.