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About 3 billion people living under COVID-19-related restrictions globally

As the global death toll soared past 20,000, Spain has joined Italy in seeing its number of fatalities overtake China where the virus first emerged.

A man, wearing a face mask as a precautionary measure against COVID-19, cycles past the Battersea Power Station development in south London on 24 March 2020, as Britain's Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Michael Gove clarified that major construction work should go ahead despite the lockdown due to the novel coronavirus. Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN - Nearly a third of the world's population is now living under the coronavirus-related restrictions.

As the global death toll soared past 20,000, Spain has joined Italy in seeing its number of fatalities overtake China where the virus first emerged.

Globally, there are more than 471,000 confirmed cases.

WATCH: COVID-19 Situation Desk - 26 March 2020 AM

China, the birthplace of COVID-19 has recorded the most cases at just over 81,000.

With 709 confirmed coronavirus infections in South Africa and the number growing, the country is just hours away from being placed on a 21-day lockdown.

South Africans will join around three billion people living under strict conditions.

The World Health Organization has urged people to cooperate with authorities because the efficacy of a country's lockdown period will depend on the commitment of its citizens.

More than 2,000 infections have been confirmed in Africa as Libya and Mali recently recorded their first COVID-19 cases.

Italy, with more than 74,000 confirmed infections has been on lockdown for about two weeks. The country's death toll earlier this week jumped from 6,820 to 7,500.

India and the United Kingdom imposed lockdowns this week, while France, the third worst-affected European country marks its ninth day under a state of disaster.

With just over 600 cases in Russia, President Vladimir Putin this week hasn’t imposed a nationwide lockdown, saying his country managed to stop the mass spread of COVID-19.

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