The coronavirus disease COVID-19 continues to spread at the regional and global levels. As of 16 April 2022, the global cumulative incidence reached 501 732 690 reported cases and 6 195 852 associated deaths with a case-fatality ratio (CFR) of 1.2%. Meanwhile, the 22 countries of the Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR) have reported a total of 21 668 448 cases, which represent about 4.4% of the global count, with 341 859 associated deaths (CFR 1.6%). 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 (7 205 064 cases; 33.3% of the Region’s total), followed by Iraq (2 323 040; 10.7%) and Jordan (1 695 432; 7.8%). Islamic Republic of Iran also reported the highest number of total associated deaths (140 800; CFR 1.9%) followed by Pakistan (30 363; CFR 1.9%) and Tunisia (28 533; CFR 2.7%). The highest CFRs were reported by Yemen (18.1%) followed by Sudan (7.9%), while the lowest CFRs were reported by Qatar (0.2%), United Arab Emirates and Bahrain (0.3% for both).
During epidemiological week 15, the Region reported a decrease in cases of 21% when compared to the previous week (32 729 cases compared to 41 325 cases). A decrease of 24% was also observed for associated deaths (409 deaths compared to 535 deaths).
Egypt reported the largest relative increase in COVID-19 activity in week 15. The weekly number of cases increased from 2800 in week 14 to 3668 in week 15 (a 31% weekly increase). Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Syria had the largest relative increase in deaths.*
In terms of testing, a total of 371 409 183 laboratory PCR tests were conducted since the start of the outbreak across the Region including tests 2 719 041 in week 14, which shows a 4.7% increase compared to the previous week when 2 589 404 tests were conducted. The highest number of PCR tests were reported from United Arab Emirates (152 million), followed by Islamic Republic of Iran (50.5 million) and Saudi Arabia (41.7 million). The average positivity rate for the Region is 5.8%. 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 718 770 453. Pakistan has administered the highest number of doses 249 609 778, followed by Islamic Republic of Iran at 147 059 668 and Egypt at 80 130 948. On the other hand, the total number of administrated doses in Sudan is 7 037 185, in Libya is 3 451 352, in Syria is 3 543 457, in Somalia is 2 511 394, in Yemen is 814 569 and in Djibouti is 170 366.**
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.