85 Percent of New Coronavirus Cases Reported in Europe and United States, World Health Organization Says

Eighty-five percent of new coronavirus cases have been reported in Europe and the United States, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Speaking at a Tuesday press briefing at the WHO's headquarters in Geneva, spokeswoman Dr. Margaret Harris said that "the outbreak is accelerating very rapidly and the case numbers we received overnight will put that up considerably."

Europe is now considered the new global epicenter of the outbreak by the WHO. Italy has been hit harder than any other European country, with 63,927 confirmed cases of the virus, including 6,077 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University's Coronavirus Resource Center. However, Italy has seen a decline in confirmed cases and deaths for two straight days, which Harris called a "glimmer of hope" for the country.

Spain has the second most confirmed cases in Europe, 39,673, along with 2,696 deaths. About 5,400 health care professionals have tested positive for the virus, the BBC reports. On Tuesday, Spain reported 514 more deaths, its highest daily increase thus far since the pandemic hit the country. The nation is enforcing strict lockdown measures implemented by Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez.

The United Kingdom is the latest European nation to implement lockdown orders. On Monday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the measures, which include the closing of nonessential businesses such as places of worship, gyms and hotels. The U.K. has 6,733 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 336 deaths.

"From this evening, I must give the British people a very simple instruction: You must stay at home," Johnson said in his announcement. He added that people should leave home only to exercise once a day and to shop for basic needs, or for medical purposes and for work if it cannot be done from home.

While the United States is not in a national lockdown, multiple states have issued stay-at-home orders to slow the coronavirus' spread. The U.S. has 46,481 confirmed cases of the virus and 593 deaths from its disease, COVID-19. New York has by far the most confirmed cases of any state in the country, with over 20,800, according to the New York Department of Health's website, which was last updated at 3 p.m. Monday.

The lockdown in Wuhan, China, the city where the pandemic began and the original epicenter for the highly contagious virus, is set to be lifted April 8. China has 81,588 confirmed cases and 3,281 deaths, but cases have steadily declined since February. Over 73,000 people have reportedly recovered.

Worldwide, there are over 392,700 confirmed cases and more than 17,200 deaths.

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A street cleaner wearing a face mask in Glasgow, Scotland, on March 24. The United Kingdom in under lockdown, its population joining the 1.7 billion people around the globe who have been ordered to stay home to curb the accelerating spread of the coronavirus. ANDY BUCHANAN/Getty
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