The World Health Organization Thursday reported more than 220,000 cases of the new coronavirus and 11,987 deaths in Europe, triple the numbers from a week ago.
Speaking in Copenhagen, WHO Europe Region Director Dr. Hans Kluge said the new numbers indicate that roughly six out of every 10 deaths from coronavirus reported globally in the last week have occurred in Europe.
Kluge said Spain, France, Germany and Switzerland saw the highest rate of increase during that time.
Kluge adds perhaps the most troubling statistic among the numbers is the fact that one-in-10 new infections was among health care workers, reflecting the dangers faced by those treating patients with the disease.
Kluge said as of Wednesday, Italy alone reported 6,200 infected health care workers. He said more must be done internationally to protect those on the front lines.
He did report some good news in Italy, which has the highest number of cases in Europe. The country reported a slightly lower rate of increase in infections, but Kluge cautioned it was still too early to tell if the spread of the virus has peaked there.