Dr Hans Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe, said: “Since we last broadcast over a week ago the number of cases and deaths have tripled in Europe. The rate of increase particularly marked in Spain, France, Germany and Switzerland.
“Over 220,000 cases and 11,987 deaths associated with Covid19 [in Europe]. This means that globally roughly 6 out of 10 every cases and 7 out of 10 deaths reported from our region.
“As we speak the global number of cases in the world has surpassed 400,000.
“From available reports we also know that 1 in 10 infections are in health care workers and many more in quarantine, affecting ability to response.
“We must all take action to protect these courageous individuals as best as we can.
“While the situation remains very serious we are starting to see some encouraging signs that Italy has just seen a slightly lower rate of increase – though it is still too early to say that the pandemic is peaking in that country.
“We need to remain optimistic and physically and mentally healthy – this will be key in overcoming the challenge united.”