The World Health Organization said on Friday that Europe is now the "epicenter" for the global coronavirus pandemic and warned that it was impossible to know when the outbreak would peak.
"Europe is now the epicenter of the pandemic," said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in a virtual press conference.
He said the continent has now "reported more cases and deaths than the rest of the world combined, except for China.
"There are now more cases reported every day than in China at the height of the epidemic," he said, referring to global numbers.
The virus, which first appeared in China in December, has now killed more than 5,000 people, according to an AFP record, with 134,000 cases occurring worldwide.
Mr Tedros said that the death, which exceeded the 5,000 mark, was "a tragic milestone".
Maria Van Kerkhove, head of the WHO's emerging diseases department, said it was not possible to predict the evolution of the pandemic.
"It is impossible for us to tell when this will peak worldwide. We hope it will be sooner rather than later."
Her comments came as countries in Europe and around the world took dramatic measures to stop the virus from spreading, including school closures and border tightening.
Mr Tedros said such measures could help, but stressed that countries need to take a "comprehensive approach".
"Don't test alone. Not contact tracking alone. Not quarantine alone. Not social distancing alone. Do everything," he said.
He stressed the need to do more to "identify, protect and treat cases".
"You can't fight a virus if you don't know where it is," he said, calling on countries to "find, isolate, test, and treat each case to break the transmission chain."
"Every case we find and treat limits the spread of the disease," he said.
"Don't just let this fire burn."
"Any country that looks at other countries' experiences of major epidemics and thinks that it won't happen to us is making a deadly mistake."
Michael Ryan, who runs the WHO emergency program, stressed that so-called social distancing measures, including the ban on public gatherings and school closings, are "not a panacea".
"You won't stop this," he said alone.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and published from a syndicated feed.)