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Epidemiological Update: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) - 15 January 2021

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All 56 countries and territories in the Region of the Americas have reported COVID-19 cases and deaths. Since the 11 December 2020 PAHO/WHO Epidemiological Update on COVID-19 and as of 14 January 2021, 11,409,052 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 179,547 deaths, have been reported in the Region of the Americas, representing a 28% increase in cases and a 19% increase in deaths.


On 31 December 2019, the People’s Republic of China notified 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 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).” On 11 March 2020, COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the WHO Director-General, and on 31 July 2020, the WHO Director-General accepted the advice of the Emergency Committee, declaring that the COVID-19 pandemic continues to constitute a PHEIC, and issuing the temporary recommendations to States Parties under the International Health Regulations (IHR) (2005). On 9 July 2020, the WHO Director-General announced the launch of the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response (IPPR), which will independently and comprehensively assess the lessons learned from the international health response to COVID-19.

Global Situation Summary

Since the first confirmed cases of COVID-19 until 15 January 2021, a cumulative total of 91,492,398 confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported globally, including 1,979,507 deaths, representing a total of 23,326,521 additional confirmed cases and 422,122 additional deaths, since the last PAHO/WHO Epidemiological Update on COVID-19 published on 11 December 2020.

As of 15 January 2021, of the global total, WHO Region of the Americas and the WHO European Region, represent 77% of the total confirmed cases and 80% of the total deaths. The Region of the Americas represents 44% (40,548,449) of the total confirmed cases and 48% (940,455) of the total deaths and the European Region represents 33% (29,748,909) of the total cases and 33% (649,106) of the total deaths (Figure 1).