BRUSSLES/ROME, March 24 (Xinhua) -- The coronavirus continued to sweep across Europe, with the combined number of confirmed cases on the continent exceeding 200,000 as of Tuesday evening, accounting for half of known cases worldwide.

Globally, the number of coronavirus cases crossed the 400,000 mark as of 1725 GMT on Tuesday, and the deaths globally were 17,454, according to the U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University, which is tracking the COVID-19 spread in real-time.

In just five days, Europe's number of confirmed cases jumped from 100,000 to 200,000. The four hardest-hit European countries remained the same -- Italy, Spain, Germany and France -- with their total cases now topping 150,000 in combination.