Coronavirus live updates: Diagnosed cases approach half a million worldwide

narvikk/iStock(NEW YORK) -- A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed more than 21,000 people around the world, including at least 1,000 in the United States.

Spain's death toll has eclipsed that of China where cases of the illness caused by the new respiratory virus, known officially as COVID-19, were first detected back in December. Spain's count of over 3,600 deaths is now second only to that of Italy, where more than 7,500 people have died from the virus, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

Worldwide, there are more than 472,000 diagnosed cases of COVID-19, spanning every continent except Antarctica. With more than 69,000 cases, the United States has the third-highest national total behind Italy and China. The virus has rapidly spread across every U.S. state as well as Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico. At least 114,000 people around the world have recovered from COVID-19.

Here's how the news is developing Thursday. All times Eastern:

5:27 a.m.: Nearly 90% of the world's student population is out of school due to pandemic

More than 1.5 billion students are not attending schools and universities because of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the latest figures from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

Governments across the globe have closed educational institutions in an attempt to contain the outbreak. More than 160 countries have implemented nationwide school closure, impacting over 87 percent of the world's student population, according to UNESCO monitoring.

Several other nations have implemented localized school closures and, should those become nationwide, millions more students would be affected, UNESCO warned.

3:30 a.m.: Diagnosed cases approach half a million worldwide

The number of diagnosed cases worldwide of the novel coronavirus will likely reach half a million in the coming days, the latest data from Johns Hopkins University shows.

China still has the highest tally with more than 81,000 diagnosed cases, but Italy isn't far behind with over 74,000. The U.S. count is approaching 70,000.

Meanwhile, the global death toll topped 21,000 on Thursday, with Italy and Spain as the two worst-affected countries.

A third of the world's population is under some kind of coronavirus-related movement restrictions as governments scramble to contain the spread of the disease.

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