Hans-Henri Cluj, director of the World Health Organization (WHO) Europe, announced on Thursday that the outbreak of Covid-19 was responsible for an additional 159,000 deaths in 24 European countries since early March.
Excessive death is a term used to define the number of deaths under “normal” conditions and even higher than expected, which was seen in the given crisis.
The WHO lists 53 countries in its European region, including Russia and Turkey.
According to Cluj, more than two million Covid-19s have been confirmed in the European region and more than 175,000 have died. Klug said the death toll was “higher than we normally expected at this time of year and beyond.”
Cases reported to the WHO show that 99% of all Covid-19 deaths were over the age of 60, and 599% were male.
Of the total deaths, 97% of cases had at least one underlying health condition, with cardiovascular disease being the most common.
Cluj also gave an update on the current spread of the virus in Europe, noting that the number has risen by 15% in the last 14 days, with 38% of cases and 50% of deaths still in the region worldwide.
Russia, the United Kingdom, Belarus, Turkey and Italy are among the countries that have reported the highest number of confirmed cases in the past two weeks, Klug said. He added that 722% of all European covid-19 deaths were in Spain, Italy, the United Kingdom and France.
As countries across the region continued to ease restrictions, Cluj stressed that “there can be no economic recovery without the control of the Covid-19 infection.”
“Our priorities are to invest in health, invest in social security and, above all, avoid austerity,” Cluj said.
He advised leaders to examine the lessons of the 2008 financial crash, where many countries cut healthcare spending.