On 31 December 2019, the People’s Republic of China reported a cluster of pneumonia cases with unknown etiology, later identified on 9 January 2020 as a novel coronavirus by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. On 30 January 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the new outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). On 11 February 2020, WHO named the disease “coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19),” and the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) named the virus “severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).” COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by WHO in March 2020, and on 31 July 2020, the PHEIC was reaffirmed at the fourth meeting of the Emergency Committee, convened by the WHO Director-General under the International Health Regulations (IHR) (2005) regarding COVID-19. On 9 July 2020, the co-chairs of the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response (IPPR) were announced, to evaluate the world’s response to COVID-19, following a resolution adopted in May 2020 by the World Health Assembly.
Epidemiological Highlights - Region of the Americas
Since the last PAHO/WHO COVID-19 Epidemiological Update published on 23 June 2020, and up to 22 August 2020, 14 million new cases of COVID-19, including over 300,000 deaths, have been reported worldwide. Of the total, three countries account for 60% of the new cases:
The United States of America (24%), India (18%), and Brazil (17%). The majority of new deaths were reported by Brazil (19%), the United States of America (16%), India (13% ), and Mexico (12%). As of 22 August, the daily notifications of cases in the United States of America and Brazil are trending downwards, whereas in India, a sustained increase has been observed over the past two months.