WHO EMRO | COVID-19 situation updates for week 35 (28 August-3 September 2022)

The coronavirus disease COVID-19 continues to spread at the regional and global levels. As of 3 September 2022, the global cumulative incidence reached 601 941 993 reported cases and 6 490 373 associated deaths at a case-fatality ratio (CFR) of 1.08%. Meanwhile, the 22 countries of the Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR) have reported a total of 23 002 504 cases, representing about 3.84% of the global count, with 347 728 associated deaths (CFR 1.51%). 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 (7 531 924; 32.74% of the Region’s total), followed by Iraq (2 458 509; 10.70%) and Jordan (1 738 867; 7.56%). Islamic Republic of Iran also reported the highest number of total COVID-19 associated deaths (143 947; CFR 1.91%) followed by Pakistan (30 591; CFR 1.95%) and Tunisia (29 283; CFR 2.55%). The highest CFRs were reported by Yemen (18.07%) followed by Sudan (7.84%) and Syria (5.54%), while the lowest CFRs were reported by United Arab Emirates (0.23%), Bahrain (0.23) and Qatar (0.16%) respectively.

During epidemiological week 35, the Region reported a decrease in cases by 33% when compared to the previous week (32 509 cases compared to 48 484 cases). A decrease by 27% was also observed for associated deaths (340 deaths in the current week compared to 467 deaths in the previous week).

The weekly number of cases has decreased in almost all countries except in four out of 22 countries in the Region compared to the previous week. This week the number of COVID-19 associated deaths also decreased in most of the countries except in four out of 22 countries of the Region as compared to the previous week.*

In terms of testing, a total of 424 815 560 laboratory tests were conducted since the start of the outbreak across the Region including 2 235 450 tests in week 35, which shows a 12% increase as compared to the previous week when 1 998 646 tests were conducted. The highest number of PCR tests were reported from United Arab Emirates (184 968 668), followed by Islamic Republic of Iran (53 835 881) and Saudi Arabia (44 134 279). The average positivity rate for the Region is 5.41%. 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 820 355 520. Pakistan has administered the highest number of doses at 307 354 160 followed by Islamic Republic of Iran at 19 165 091 and Egypt at 97 808 869. On the other hand, Bahrain (3 467 957), Yemen (898 257) and Djibouti (246 459) administrated the lowest number 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