Coronavirus world live updates: Global cases closing in on a half-million
The global number of coronavirus cases is closing in on a half million, with both Italy and the US on track to surpass China's count.
It comes as a record-shattering 3.3 million Americans have applied for unemployment benefits in just one week as the virus hits the world economy.
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Nearly 492,000 cases of COVID-19 have now been confirmed across 175 countries, and more than 22000 people have died.
Follow our live, rolling coverage of the global pandemic below.
Originally published as Global virus cases nearing a half-million