The number of COVID-19 cases worldwide topped 500,000 as of 2 p.m. U.S. Eastern Time on Thursday (1800 GMT), according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University.

The fresh figure reached 510,108 cases with 22,993 deaths, the CSSE said.

Outside China, the countries that reported over 10,000 cases included Italy, the United States, Spain, Germany, Iran, France and Switzerland. Italy suffered the most deaths from the disease, which stood at 8,165, according to the CSSE.

It took around two days for the total number to jump from 400,000 to 500,000. Over 170 countries and regions have reported COVID-19 cases so far, the CSSE said. Enditem

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Xinhua News Agency, Xinhuanet is an important central news service-oriented website, an important information organ of the central government, and an important platform for building up China's online international communication capacity. Established on November 7, 1997, as an online news provider of the Xinhua News Agency, it was officially named Xinhuanet on March 10, 2000 and began around-the-clock news release with leading online public opinion at home and setting a good image of China abroad as its main task.

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