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WHO EMRO COVID-19 situation updates for week 26 (27 June – 3 July 2021)

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The coronavirus disease COVID-19 continues to spread at the regional and global levels. As of 3 July 2021, the global cumulative incidence reached 182 792 788 reported cases and 3 963 564 associated deaths with a case fatality ratio (CFR) of 2.2%. Meanwhile, the 22 countries of the Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR) have reported a total of 11 140 366 cases, which represent about 6.1% of the global count, with 219 033 associated deaths (CFR 2%). 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 (3 241 037 cases; 29.1% of the Region’s total), followed by Iraq (1 365 211; 12.3%) and Pakistan (962 313; 8.6%). Islamic Republic of Iran also reported the highest number of total associated deaths (84 627; CFR 2.6%) followed by Pakistan (22 408; CFR 2.3%) and Iraq (17 281; CFR 1.3%). The highest CFRs were reported by Yemen (19.7%) followed by Sudan (7.5%), while the lowest CFRs were reported by Qatar (0.27%), United Arab Emirates (0.29%) and Bahrain (0.51%).

During epidemiological week 26, the Region reported an increase in cases of 12.8% when compared to the previous week (246 636 cases compared to 218 659 cases). Similarly, an increase of 6% was observed for associated deaths (3528 deaths compared to 3328 deaths).

Tunisia, Afghanistan and Oman reported a relative increase in COVID-19 activity in week 26. The cumulative number of cases increased from 407 017 to 443 631 in Tunisia (a 9% weekly increase), from 115 751 to 125 937 in Afghanistan (an 8.8% weekly increase), and from 260 506 to 273 894 in Oman (a 5.1% weekly increase). Afghanistan, Oman and Tunisia had the largest relative increase in deaths.

In terms of testing, a total of 172 486 043 laboratory PCR tests were conducted since the start of the outbreak across the Region including 4 792 629 tests in week 26, which shows an 1.3% increase compared to the previous week when 4 732 893 tests were conducted. The highest number of PCR tests were reported from United Arab Emirates (58.6 million), followed by Islamic Republic of Iran (23.9 million) and Saudi Arabia (22.2 million). The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain are performing the highest rates of testing per capita (5925/1000 and 2984/1000, respectively). The average positivity rate for the Region is 6.5%. WHO recommends a positivity rate of around 3–12% 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 100 646 713. Morocco has administered the highest number of doses at 19 300 988, followed Saudi Arabia by at 18 675 206 and Pakistan at 17 390 346. On the other hand, the total number of administrated doses in Sudan is 677 957, in Libya is 379 404, in Yemen is 268 753, in Somalia is 208 415, in Syria is 108 276, and in Djibouti is 26 796.*

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.

For more data from the Region, please visit the COVID-19 dashboard.

*The data on vaccination is obtained from a number of sources including media reports and country websites for ministries of health.