The coronavirus disease COVID-19 continues to spread at the regional and global levels. As of 10 September 2022, the global cumulative incidence reached 605 459 751 reported cases and 6 505 001 associated deaths at a case-fatality ratio (CFR) of 1.07%. Meanwhile, the 22 countries of the Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR) have reported a total of 23 027 573 cases, representing about 3.84% of the global count, with 347 986 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 (7 538 125; 32.74% of the Region’s total), followed by Iraq (2 458 922; 10.68%) and Jordan (1 742 256; 7.56%). Islamic Republic of Iran also reported the highest number of total COVID-19-associated deaths (144 154; CFR 1.91%), followed by Pakistan (30 599; CFR 1.95%) and Tunisia (29 243; CFR 2.55%). The highest CFRs were reported by Yemen (18.06%), followed by Sudan (7.84%) and Syria (5.53%), while the lowest CFRs were reported by United Arab Emirates (0.23%), Bahrain (0.23) and Qatar (0.16%).
During epidemiological week 36, the Region reported a decrease in cases by 23% when compared to the previous week (24 892 cases compared to 32 525 cases). A decrease by 24% was also observed for associated deaths (258 deaths in the current week compared to 340 deaths in the previous week).
The weekly number of cases have decreased in all countries of the Region except in 3 out of 22 countries compared to the previous week. This week the number of COVID-19-associated deaths also decreased in most of the countries of the Region except in 2 out of 22 countries as compared to the previous week.*
In terms of testing, a total of 426 661 725 laboratory tests were conducted since the start of the outbreak across the Region including 1 846 165 tests in week 36, which shows a 17% decrease as compared to the previous week when 2 235 450 tests were conducted. The highest number of PCR tests were reported from United Arab Emirates (186 429 061), followed by Islamic Republic of Iran (53 915 807) and Saudi Arabia (44 195 207). The average positivity rate for the Region is 5.40%. 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 821 037 305. Pakistan has administered the highest number of doses at 307 354 160, followed by Islamic Republic of Iran at 153 956 137 and Egypt at 98 019 706. On the other hand, Bahrain (3 468 872), 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