Confirmed coronavirus cases hit 1 million worldwide

It's a grim COVID-19 milestone, with the highest number of cases in the US, Italy, Spain and Germany.

The number of COVID-19 cases has now reached the million mark. 
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The number of cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the newly identified coronavirus, has hit 1 million worldwide, according to tracking numbers from Johns Hopkins University. The US has the highest number of cases, at around 236,000. Italy, Spain and Germany follow.  

First detected in China in December, the coronavirus has changed the way we live -- how we work, how we shop and how we socialize. Many cities and countries have imposed lockdowns to slow the spread of the disease. The US federal government has extended its social distancing guidelines to April 30. Major events have been called off or postponed, and many employees are being told to work from home, while others have been laid off

President Donald Trump on Thursday invoked the Defense Production Act to ensure that manufacturers such as General Electric, Hill-Rom, ResMed and Royal Philips can "secure the supplies they need to build ventilators needed to defeat the virus." Meanwhile, companies like Apple have donated millions of face masks to medical workers to help curb a shortage, while Boeing has said it'll make thousands of plastic face shields each week and provide planes to carry supplies, according to Trump.

To protect against the spread of COVID-19, people are encouraged to practice social distancing and to thoroughly wash their hands

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