Coronavirus crisis: While you were sleeping confirmed COVID-19 cases top 500,000

Confirmed coronavirus cases hit half a million across the world. Photo: Shutterstock
Confirmed coronavirus cases hit half a million across the world. Photo: Shutterstock

It's a new thing - nations united by this God-awful virus waiting for daily updates on confirmed cases and, tragically, death tolls.

On the day the world's tally of confirmed infections hit half million, there was good news, too.

Mainland China reported no new locally transmitted cases of coronavirus. That makes it sixth time in eight days.

In Italy after four days of the infection rate slowing, it rose again - although the curve is still flattening. Deaths rise too, with another 712 overnight taking the total to a staggering 8215.

Included there was Vincenza Amato. She was the head of public health and hygiene for the city of Bergamo. She was the 31st Italian doctor to die from the virus.

Such is the nature of this pandemic that the global medical community is looking to those countries who have gone before them to adapt their practices as best as possible.

The UK's looking at Italy and that suggests there's a lot more climbing before anything begins to flatten.

In the UK, generally thought to be a fortnight behind Italy on the "corona curve", fatalities rose by more than 100 in a day for first time, pushing the death toll to 578.

The national volunteer drive clicked over half a million and Brits also were wondered out loud whether its 'patient zero' contract disease at an Austrian ski resort.

G20 leaders met and, among other things, collectively pledged $A7.5 trillion to kickstart the global economy.

Well-paid athletes have started opening wallets, too - though maybe not to the trillion dollar extent! Tennis star Rafeal Nadal and Spanish NBA star Pau Gasol teamed up with the Red Cross to raise $A20 million for vulnerable families in Spain.

Today our PM, premiers and chief ministers will meet again amid pushes from some states to enforce more wide-ranging lockdowns, and calls for action to protect renters and employees.

Check in with us at 5.30pm for the latest.

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This story While you were sleeping confirmed coronavirus cases top 500,000 first appeared on The Canberra Times.