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US coronavirus death toll passes 40,000

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The death toll from the new coronavirus in the US has passed the 40,000 mark, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

The country reached 20,000 deaths on April 11, indicating a sharp uptick despite emerging signs the rate of infection has started to flatten in key areas.

New York, the epicentre, is seeing a downward trajectory in its daily fatality toll.

The US remains the hardest-hit country, with nearly a quarter of all deaths reported globally.

However, methodology and capacity differ across countries, making comparisons inexact.

The US now has over 742,000 confirmed cases, though testing shortages persist.

© DPA 2020