The worldwide death toll from coronavirus reached 200,000 on Saturday when the United Nations launched an international push for a pandemic vaccine.
Governments around the world are struggling to limit the economic devastation caused by the virus, which has infected nearly 2.8 million people and has blocked half of humanity in some way.
The scale of the pandemic has forced medical research on the virus to move at unprecedented speeds, but effective treatments are still a long way off, and the United Nations chief said the effort would require global collaboration.
"We face a global public enemy like no other," said Secretary General Antonio Guterres in a virtual briefing Friday, calling on international organizations, world leaders and the private sector to unite.
"A world without COVID-19 requires the most massive public health effort in history."
Guterres emphasized at the meeting, which the heads of state and government of Germany and France also attended, that the vaccine should be safe, affordable and available to everyone.
However, the meeting was particularly absent from the heads of state and government of China, where the virus first appeared at the end of last year, and the United States, which accused the United Nations World Health Organization, of not warning quickly enough of the original outbreak.
The UN chief's vaccine appeal came a day after US President Donald Trump's outcry and ridicule for proposing to use disinfectants to treat coronavirus patients.
"Is there a way to do this, by injecting yourself inside, or almost by cleaning?" Trump considered during a briefing on TV. "It sounds interesting to me."
When experts – and disinfectant manufacturers – warned of such dangerous experiments, the president tried to go back on his comments and said he spoke "sarcastically".
With 51,017 deaths and more than 890,000 infections, the United States is by far the most affected country by the pandemic.
The pandemic struck the world's largest economy. 26 million jobs have been lost since the crisis began, and US leaders are under pressure to find ways to facilitate social distancing.
Despite Trump's criticism, the governor of Georgia allowed some companies, including nail salons and bowling alleys, to reopen on Friday, causing both criticism and relief.
The mayor of the state capital Atlanta condemned the "irresponsible" move and told ABC News: "It is not essential to go bowling in the middle of a pandemic or give a manicure."
But some in the city appreciated the opportunity to get involved in society again.
"I really had a great time," beamed Tili Banks, 41, when she and a friend left a bowling alley.
"I was just so happy to be outside that I didn't even notice I was wearing these people's bowling shoes when I went outside."
According to an AFP record, worldwide COVID-19 deaths have risen to over 195,000, but the newly reported cases seem to have flattened to around 80,000 a day.
The daily death toll in western countries appears to be falling, a sign hopeful epidemiologists have been looking for, but the WHO has warned that other nations are still in the early stages of the struggle.
The unprecedented situation has brought the world to the worst downturn since the Great Depression and put immense pressure on world leaders to reconcile public health concerns and economic needs.
Some countries – including parts of Europe – have started to loosen restrictions, and Belgium was the last to announce easing on Friday.
Meanwhile, pressure has been growing on the Coronavirus survivor government and Prime Minister Boris Johnson to explain how Britain will get out of the blackout and restart the economy.
On the other side of the world in Australia and New Zealand, where extensive social distancing measures are in place, people held vigils to honor their war veterans on Anzac Day.
Official memorials were held behind closed doors.
"We go (usually) to our various water points, pubs or clubs and we enjoy our friends … you talk about the old days while you served and you talk about someone who is missing this year, who was there last year was, "said Ray James, an Australian veteran of the Vietnam War.
"It will be sad this year because we cannot."
Mecca abandoned Great Mosque
Throughout the Muslim world, hundreds of millions of believers opened the holy month of Ramadan in conditions where they stayed at home and faced unprecedented prohibitions on prayer in mosques and the traditional large gatherings of family and friends to break daily fasting.
In the Islamic holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia, the Great Mosque, which was usually occupied by tens of thousands of people during Ramadan, was abandoned when religious authorities interrupted the year-round Umrah pilgrimage.
"We are used to seeing the holy mosque full of people during the day, at night and all the time … I feel pain deep inside," said Ali Mulla, the muezzin who calls for prayer in the Grand Mosque.
Despite the corona virus threat, clergy and conservatives in some countries, including Bangladesh, Pakistan and Indonesia – the world's largest nation with a Muslim majority – have pushed back and refused to stop mosque gatherings.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and published from a syndicated feed.)