According to Kluge, more than 2 million cases of COVID-19 and 175,000 associated deaths have been confirmed across the European region as of this week.
"Perhaps a less reported, but equally alarming figure is that since early March, more than 159,000 excess deaths, coinciding with the pandemic, have been reported from 24 European countries. These are deaths above and beyond what we would have expected normally at this time of the year," the WHO official told a virtual briefing.
According to case information reported to the organization, 94 percent of all COVID-19 deaths in the region were in people aged 60 and above, and 97 percent of all deaths had at least one underlying condition, Kluge added.
"Over the past 14 days, cumulative cases in the European Region have increased 15 percent and the region still accounts for 38 percent of cases and 50 percent of deaths globally. The five European countries reporting the highest cumulative numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases over the past 14 days are the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, Turkey, Belarus, and Italy," the official said.
At the same time, Spain, Italy, UK and France continue to account for 72 percent of all COVID-19 deaths in the region, Kluge noted.