US hits 20 million coronavirus cases

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Oxford University said an effective vaccine could still be 12-18 months away

The number of confirmed US coronavirus cases has surpassed 20 million, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

The US figure is nearly twice the number recorded in India, which has the second most cases, and accounts for nearly a quarter of the 83 million-plus cases globally.

Covid-19 deaths have also increased in the country, now totalling more than 346,000.

India and Brazil trail behind the US in coronavirus cases at more than 10 million and seven million, respectively.

The increase comes as officials race to vaccinate millions of Americans but have got off to a slow and messy start.

President-elect Joe Biden has criticised the Trump administration for the pace of distributing Covid-19 vaccines and vowed to ramp up the current speed of vaccinations.

However, Mr Biden acknowledged that it “will still take months to have the majority of Americans vaccinated”.

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