The Covid-19 death toll in the United States has surpassed 350,000, as experts anticipate another surge in coronavirus cases and deaths stemming from holiday gatherings over Christmas and New Year.

Data compiled by Johns Hopkins University shows the US passed the threshold early on Sunday morning.

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More than 20 million people in the country have been infected.

The US has begun using two coronavirus vaccines to protect health care workers and those over 80 but the rollout of the inoculation programme has been criticised as being slow and chaotic.

Several states have reported a record number of cases over the past few days, including North Carolina and Arizona. Mortuary owners in hard-hit Southern California say they are being inundated with bodies.

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The US has by far reported the most deaths from Covid-19 in the world, followed by Brazil, which has reported more than 195,000 deaths.