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WHO EMRO COVID-19 situation updates for week 27 (4–10 July 2021)

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The coronavirus disease COVID-19 continues to spread at the regional and global levels. As of 10 July 2021, the global cumulative incidence reached 185 786 411 reported cases and 4 019 859 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 11 452 750 cases, which represent about 6.2% of the global count, with 222 756 associated deaths (CFR 1.9%). 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 (3 355 786 cases; 29.3% of the Region’s total), followed by Iraq (1 421 746; 12.4%) and Pakistan (973 284; 8.5%). Islamic Republic of Iran also reported the highest number of total associated deaths (85 694; CFR 2.6%) followed by Pakistan 22 582; CFR 2.3%) and Iraq (17 515; CFR 1.2%). 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 (0.52%).

During epidemiological week 27, the Region reported an increase in cases of 26.7% when compared to the previous week (312 384 cases compared to 246 636 cases). Similarly, an increase of 5.5% was observed for associated deaths (3723 deaths compared to 3528 deaths).

Tunisia, Afghanistan and Libya reported a relative increase in COVID-19 activity in week 27. The cumulative number of cases increased from 443 631 to 497 613 in Tunisia (a 12.2% weekly increase), from 125 937 to 134 653 in Afghanistan (an 6.9% weekly increase), and from 195 042 to 204 090 in Libya (a 4.6% weekly increase). Afghanistan, Tunisia and Oman had the largest relative increase in deaths.

In terms of testing, a total of 177 180 373 laboratory PCR tests were conducted since the start of the outbreak across the Region including 4 694 330 tests in week 27, which shows an 2.1% decrease compared to the previous week when 4 792 629 tests were conducted. The highest number of PCR tests were reported from United Arab Emirates (60.5 million), followed by Islamic Republic of Iran (24.4 million) and Saudi Arabia (22.9 million). The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain are performing the highest rates of testing per capita (6057/1000 and 2951/1000, 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 107 830 731. Saudi Arabia has administered the highest number of doses at 20 166 857, followed by Morocco at 19 862 881 and United Arab Emirates at 15 968 660. On the other hand, the total number of administrated doses in Sudan is 677 957, in Libya is 425 119, in Yemen is 297 405, in Somalia is 249 790, 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.