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Half a million coronavirus cases confirmed worldwide

Sky News logo Sky News 26/03/2020

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Half a million people worldwide have now been infected by the coronavirus.

The figure was reached as the US passed Italy and China to record the highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases at more than 82,000.

Italy has reported 80,589 confirmed cases, according to Johns Hopkins University, while China has recorded more than 81,000.

a group of people wearing costumes: People queue for coronavirus testing in Queens, New York © Getty People queue for coronavirus testing in Queens, New York

Italy is now fewer than 1,200 cases behind China - where COVID-19 first emerged in December.

China has seen a huge slowdown in new cases as the disease widens its spread across Europe and the US.

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There are now 56,347 confirmed cases in Spain and 43,646 in Germany, part of the top five countries globally.

Gallery: Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak around the world (Photo Services) 

The Italian Civil Protection Agency announced the country's latest infection numbers on Thursday - the biggest daily increase in the number of cases since 21 March.

Of those originally infected nationwide, 10,361 are now said to have fully recovered - up from 9,362.

There are 3,612 people in intensive care, up from a previous 3,489, and the hardest-hit northern region of Lombardy reported a steep rise in fatalities compared with Wednesday and remains in a critical situation.

CREMONA, ITALY - MARCH 20: Samaritan's Purse personnel gather at a Samaritan's Purse Emergency Field Hospital on March 20, 2020 in Cremona, near Milan, Italy. Samaritan’s Purse is an evangelical Christian organization working in crisis areas of the world; thanks to a 68-bed respiratory unit, 32 members of Samaritan's Purse disaster response team will provide medical care during the novel coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Emanuele Cremaschi/Getty Images) © 2020 Getty Images CREMONA, ITALY - MARCH 20: Samaritan's Purse personnel gather at a Samaritan's Purse Emergency Field Hospital on March 20, 2020 in Cremona, near Milan, Italy. Samaritan’s Purse is an evangelical Christian organization working in crisis areas of the world; thanks to a 68-bed respiratory unit, 32 members of Samaritan's Purse disaster response team will provide medical care during the novel coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Emanuele Cremaschi/Getty Images)

Lombardy has now reported 4,861 deaths and 34,889 cases, up from 4,474 and 32,346 on Wednesday.

Italy remains the country with the highest number of total deaths with COVID-19.

Johns Hopkins University reported 8,215 deaths in the country as of 11pm on Thursday.

BEIJING, CHINA - MARCH 11: A Chinese man wears a protective mask as he and others have their temperature checked by a guard at a temporary entrance to a commercial area on March 11, 2020 in Beijing, China. The number of cases of the deadly new coronavirus COVID-19 being treated in China dropped to below 16,500 in mainland China Wednesday, in what the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a global public health emergency last month. China continued to lock down the city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the virus, in an effort to contain the spread of the pneumonia-like disease but has moved to ease restrictions in other parts of the province. Officials in Beijing have put in place a mandatory 14 day quarantine for all people returning to the capital from other places in China and abroad. The number of those who have died from the virus in China climbed to over 3160 on Wednesday, mostly in Hubei province, and cases have been reported in many other countries including the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan, South Korea, India, Iran, Italy, the United Kingdom, Germany, France and several others. The World Health Organization has warned all governments to be on alert and raised concerns over a possible pandemic. Some countries, including the United States, have put restrictions on Chinese travellers entering and advised their citizens against travel to China.(Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images) © 2020 Getty Images BEIJING, CHINA - MARCH 11: A Chinese man wears a protective mask as he and others have their temperature checked by a guard at a temporary entrance to a commercial area on March 11, 2020 in Beijing, China. The number of cases of the deadly new coronavirus COVID-19 being treated in China dropped to below 16,500 in mainland China Wednesday, in what the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a global public health emergency last month. China continued to lock down the city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the virus, in an effort to contain the spread of the pneumonia-like disease but has moved to ease restrictions in other parts of the province. Officials in Beijing have put in place a mandatory 14 day quarantine for all people returning to the capital from other places in China and abroad. The number of those who have died from the virus in China climbed to over 3160 on Wednesday, mostly in Hubei province, and cases have been reported in many other countries including the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan, South Korea, India, Iran, Italy, the United Kingdom, Germany, France and several others. The World Health Organization has warned all governments to be on alert and raised concerns over a possible pandemic. Some countries, including the United States, have put restrictions on Chinese travellers entering and advised their citizens against travel to China.(Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

Italy's Civil Protection Agency said earlier on Thursday there had been 8,165 deaths.

There have now been 4,154 fatalities in Spain.

That puts it above the 3,169 deaths in China's Hubei province - the original epicentre of the outbreak.

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA - MARCH 27: South Korean Red Cross workers prepare emergency relief kits packed with basic necessities for delivery to impoverished people experiencing difficulties amid the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) on March 27, 2020 in Seoul, South Korea. South Korea has called for expanded public participation in social distancing, as the country witnesses a wave of community spread and imported infections leading to a resurgence in new cases of COVID-19. According to the Korea Center for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday, 91 new cases were reported. The total number of infections in the nation tallies at 9,332. (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images) © 2020 Getty Images SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA - MARCH 27: South Korean Red Cross workers prepare emergency relief kits packed with basic necessities for delivery to impoverished people experiencing difficulties amid the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) on March 27, 2020 in Seoul, South Korea. South Korea has called for expanded public participation in social distancing, as the country witnesses a wave of community spread and imported infections leading to a resurgence in new cases of COVID-19. According to the Korea Center for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday, 91 new cases were reported. The total number of infections in the nation tallies at 9,332. (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

Iran has reported 2,234 deaths and France has confirmed 1,696.

No other countries have a death count in four figures, with the UK next along with 578.

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Stay at home to stop coronavirus spreading - here is what you can and can't do. If you think you have the virus, don't go to the GP or hospital, stay indoors and get advice online. Only call NHS 111 if you cannot cope with your symptoms at home; your condition gets worse; or your symptoms do not get better after seven days. In parts of Wales where 111 isn't available, call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47. In Scotland, anyone with symptoms is advised to self-isolate for seven days. In Northern Ireland, call your GP.  

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