PAHO Weekly COVID-19 Epidemiological Update - March 1st, 2022

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Globally, COVID-19 cases decreased for the fourth consecutive week with 10.7 million new cases reported in an epidemiological week (EW) 8 (20 – 26 February 2022) – a 16.5% decrease compared to the previous week (Figure 1). The decrease in cases was observed across most WHO regions except for the Western Pacific Region (31.7% increase).

Deaths also declined globally for the second consecutive week with 59,668 new deaths reported in EW 8 – a 10.7% decline compared to EW 7 (13 – 19 February 2022) (Figure 1). Except for the EMRO (3.7 % increase) and WPRO (22.2% increase) regions, weekly deaths declined in the rest of the four WHO regions.

In the Region of the Americas, the incidence of COVID-19 continues to decline for a sixth consecutive week in 2022, with nearly 1.5 million new cases reported in EW 8 – a decline of 32% compared to the previous week. A decreasing trend was observed across all four sub-regions.

Weekly deaths also declined in the region for a third consecutive week with approximately 24,650 new deaths reported during EW 8 – a 10% decline compared to EW 7. Deaths increased in Central America by nearly 16% during EW 8 but declined in all other subregions (range – 2.3% to – 25.5%).

Overall declining trends in hospitalizations and/or ICU admissions also continued in EW 8 with only three countries/territories (Anguilla, Curacao, and Chile) reporting an increase in hospitalizations and two reporting an increase in ICU admissions (Chile and Saint Lucia).

The SARS-CoV-2 variant of concern (VOC) Omicron has now been detected in 49 countries and territories of the region of date. The latest two countries to identify the VOC were Guyana and the Bahamas.