As of 8 May 2020, there have been 222,857 confirmed cases and 26,299 deaths while there have been 131,148 recoveries. The actual number of cases, however, is likely to be much higher, as many people with only mild or no symptoms are unlikely to have been tested. The number of deaths is also believed to be an underestimate due to lack of testing and reporting, perhaps by as much as 10,000 according to excess mortality analysis.
On August 26, Barcelona's sporting director Ramon Planes iterated the club's desire to "build a team around the most important player in the world" and affirmed Messi will only be able to leave should a buyer pay his €700 million buyout clause; a reported early termination option available in Messi's contract (which would have allowed him to leave the club for free) could only be exercised if he had communicated his decision to Barcelona by 31 May 2020, although the player's representatives argued the deadline should be set to 31 August, due to the adjourned 2019–20 season. On 30 August, La Liga issued a statement stating Messi's contract and buyout clause are still active.
Later that evening, Messi announced in an interview with Goal that he would continue in Barcelona for the final year of his contract. In the interview, Messi claimed to have informed Barcelona of his desire to leave multiple times, and club president Josep Bartomeu said Messi could decide at the end of every season if he could stay or leave, only for Bartomeu to refer to the release clause. This left Messi with two options: to stay or go to court against the club, with the player saying "I would never go to court against the club of my life".