PAHO Weekly COVID-19 Epidemiological Update - 15 February 2022

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Globally, COVID-19 cases decreased for the second time after weeks of increasing trends since epidemiological week (EW) 50, 2021 (Figure 1). Approximately 16 million new cases were reported in epidemiological week (EW) 6, representing a decrease of 18.7% compared to EW 5. The decrease in cases was observed across most WHO regions except for the Western Pacific Region where it increased by approximately 19% compared to the previous week.

Deaths continue to increase globally with close to 75,000 new COVID-19 deaths reported in EW 6 – a 4.2% increase compared to the previous week. (Figure 1). The increasing trend was consistent across all but one Region – Southeast Asian Region – where it decreased by nearly 9% relative to the previous week.

In the Region of the Americas, the overall epidemiological situation continues to be characterized by a decline in cases notifications and an elevated but stable weekly death rate in many countries and territories. During EW 6, a total of 3.3 million new cases including close to 34,000 deaths were reported, representing a decrease of 32% in cases and an increase of 5.6% in deaths relative to the previous week.

Over all trends for COVID-19 hospitalizations and ICU admissions appear to be on the decline in most countries and territories of the region as of EW 6. However, weekly rates are still elevated with continued increases in many places like Chile, Costa Rica, Belize, Martinique, and Barbados.

The SARS-CoV-2 variant of concern (VOC) Omicron has been detected in 47 countries and territories of the region of date.