Europe has surpassed one million Covid-19 related deaths, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday.
The grim milestone was passed last week, WHO Regional Director for Europe Hans Kluge said in a press conference.
Kluge warned that despite the progress of the European vaccine rollout the situation in the region remained "serious."
"1.6 million new cases are reported every week. That's 9500 every hour, 160 people every minute," he said.
The WHO Europe region is composed of 53 countries and includes non-EU states such as Turkey and Russia.
Early signs of decline in some countries do not necessarily equate to "lower rates of transmission," Kluge cautioned.
The decline in incidence rates has been observed "only amongst the oldest" of people so far with hospitalization remaining "nonetheless at high levels" he added.
The WHO has continuously received reports of "intensive care capacity having been exceeded from all parts of the region" with Kluge pointing towards France where ICU admissions in April "reached the highest levels since last year."
Social measures in countries should be adjusted "based not on vaccination targets, but on the basis of epidemiology, and the ability of our health services and workforce to cope with Covid-19," Kluge said.
Correction: A previous version of this post attributed an incorrect quotation to Kluge. This has been corrected.