21 million cases reported from across the world represent the highest number of weekly cases recorded by the World Health Organisation since the beginning of the pandemic.
In its weekly report on the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Health Organisation has said that 21 million cases were reported from across the organisation’s six regions across the globe during the last week ending Saturday 23 January 2022. Nearly 50,000 new deaths were reported.
This represents a five per cent increase during the week, while the number of deaths remained similar to that reported during the previous week.
This is the highest number of weekly cases recorded by the world body since the beginning of the pandemic two years ago.
“Across the six WHO regions, over 21 million new cases were reported this week, representing the highest number of weekly cases recorded since the beginning of the pandemic,” the WHO said in its weekly update.
As of 23 January 2022, over 346 million confirmed cases and over 5.5 million deaths have been reported worldwide.
A slower increase in case incidence was observed at the global level, with only half of the regions reporting an increase in the number of new weekly cases, as compared to five out of six regions in the previous week.
The Eastern Mediterranean Region reported the largest increase in the number of new cases (39 per cent), followed by the South-East Asia Region (36 per cent) and the European Region (13 per cent).
WHO’s South-East Asia region includes SouthAsian countries, but not Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The number of new weekly deaths increased in the South-East Asia Region (44 per cent), the Eastern Mediterranean Region (15 per cent) and the Region of the Americas (seven per cent), while the other Regions all reported declines in new weekly deaths.
Community transmission levels in India
In the meantime, the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Consortium on Genomics (INSACOG) declared that Omicron has reached community transmission levels in the country.
According to INSACOG’s statement released on Sunday, “Omicron is now in community transmission stage in India and has become dominant in multiple metros, where new cases have been rising exponentially.”
While most Omicron cases so far have been asymptomatic or mild, INSACOG said that global data shows that the majority of severe cases and deaths have been in unvaccinated people.
The INSACOG reports includes its study from genomic surveillance across the country.