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Global coronavirus death toll crosses 40,000, total positive cases exceeds 8,00,000

MADRID: More than 40,000 people have been killed in the coronavirus pandemic as the disease barrels across the globe, with the US bracing for its darkest hours after its death toll surpassed China’s on Tuesday.

In a matter of months, the virus has infected more than 800,000 people in a crisis redrawing political powers, hammering the global economy and transforming the daily existence of some 3.6 billion people who have been asked to stay home under lockdowns.

Deaths shot up again across Europe Tuesday as Spain, France and Britain reported their deadliest days.

While there are hopeful signs that the spread of infections is slowing in hardest-hit Italy and Spain, more than 800 died overnight in both countries.

With hospitals direly overstretched, lockdowns have been extended despite their crushing economic impact on the poorest.

In Belgium a 12-year-old girl infected with the virus passed away in another worrying case of a youth succumbing to the disease.

Meanwhile the US — which has the highest number of confirmed infections — reached a bleak milestone as deaths topped 3,400, ticking past China’s official tally of 3,309, according to a Johns Hopkins University tracker.

France joined it with a surge to 3,525 deaths, an official toll that includes only those who died in hospital and not those who died at home or in old people’s homes.