TV reality star Kim Kardashian West has been ridiculed and accused of being "tone deaf" after she celebrated her 40th birthday on a private island with a large group of family and friends as COVID-19 cases continue to spike worldwide.

Kardashian, star of TV show Keeping Up with The Kardashians, posted a picture of herself partying with friends, with the caption: "Before Covid, I don't think any of us truly appreciated what a simple luxury it was to be able to travel and be together with family and friends in a safe environment."

She said that the trip followed "two weeks of multiple health screens and asking everyone to quarantine", adding that she was "humbly reminded of how privileged my life is".

However, her luxury holiday snaps have been widely condemned, with many Twitter users, separated from their friends and families by COVID-19, posting satirical memes of their own imagined holiday retreats, including scenes from a Hieronymus Bosch painting, horror film The Wicker Man, and Father Ted's Craggy Island.

One Twitter user said: "This is so grotesque. The rich can pretend to be normal on a private island. Actual normal people are cancelling their Thanksgiving and Christmas."

Colin Hanks, son of Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, wrote: "Let them eat cake."

The coronavirus has killed more than 1.1 million people worldwide and left the global economy reeling.

In her tweet, Kardashian West acknowledged the impact of the disease.

"After two weeks of multiple health screens and asking everyone to quarantine, I surprised my closest inner circle with a trip to a private island where we could pretend things were normal just for a brief moment in time.

"We danced, rode bikes, swam near whales, kayaked, watched a movie on the beach and so much more.

"I realise that for most people, this is something that is so far out of reach right now, so in moments like these, I am humbly reminded of how privileged my life is."

Some of Kardashian West's followers praised her for her honesty but most of the responses took a dim view of her luxury getaway in the middle of a pandemic.

Memes of the infamous Fyre Festival, which saw festival goers ripped off by a conman promotor, were posted, while New York's Museum of Modern Art also registered their disdain.