The coronavirus disease COVID-19 continues to spread at the regional and global levels. As of 16 August 2022, the global cumulative incidence reached 559 397 345 reported cases and 6 374 580 associated deaths at a case-fatality ratio (CFR) of 1.14%. Meanwhile, the 22 countries of the Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR) have reported a total of 22 335 767 cases, representing about 4% of the global count, with 344 177 associated deaths (CFR 1.54%). Most countries in the Region are in the community transmission phase.
Since the beginning of the outbreak, the country that has reported the highest number of total cases in the Region is Islamic Republic of Iran (7 272 727; 32.56% of the Region’s total), followed by Iraq (2 402 311; 10.76%) and Jordan (1 705 116; 7.63%). Islamic Republic of Iran also reported the highest number of total COVID-19-associated deaths (141 486; CFR 1.95%) followed by Pakistan (30 440; CFR 1.97%) and Tunisia (28 942; CFR 2.6%). The highest CFRs were reported by Yemen (18.14%) followed by Sudan (7.88%) and Syria (5.63%), while the lowest CFRs were reported by United Arab Emirates (0.24%), Bahrain (0.23), and Qatar (0.17%) respectively.
During epidemiological week 28, the Region reported an increase in cases by 7% when compared to the previous week (140 093 cases compared to 130 490 cases). An increase of 39% was also observed for associated deaths (301 deaths in the current week compared to 217 deaths in the previous week).
The weekly number of cases have increased in 10 out of 22 countries in the Region as compared to the previous week. This week the number of COVID-19-associated deaths increased in 8 out of 22 countries of the Region as compared to the last week.*
In terms of testing, a total of 409 546 477 laboratory tests were conducted since the start of the outbreak across the Region including 2 127 071 tests in week 28, which shows a 15% decrease compared to the previous week when 2 489 871 tests were conducted. The highest number of PCR tests were reported from United Arab Emirates (173 866 204), followed by Islamic Republic of Iran (52 835 156) and Saudi Arabia (43 664 642). The average positivity rate for the Region is 5.45%. WHO recommends a positivity rate of around 3% to 12% as a general benchmark indicating adequate testing, which was achieved in most countries of the Region.
Meanwhile, COVID-19 vaccination continues across the Region. The total number of doses administered so far in the 22 countries is 789 110 652. Pakistan has administered the highest number of doses 296 891 907 followed by Islamic Republic of Iran at 150 653 478 and Egypt at 93 009 661. On the other hand, Somalia (3 266 529), Yemen (874 886), and Djibouti (233 734) administrated the lowest number of of COVID-19 doses in the Region.**
Supporting countries in the Region
The regional incident management support team continues to coordinate the response and provide technical support to countries and partners in the Region in the areas of coordination and partnership, surveillance, laboratory capacity, clinical management, infection prevention and control, risk communication and community engagement, points of entry according to the International Health Regulations (2005), research, health systems, and essential health services among others.
Source: World Health Organization