The World Health Organisation (WHO) says that globally, the number of new COVID-19 cases increased in the past week of 17-23 January by 5 per cent.
It said that the number of new deaths remained similar to that reported during the previous week.
The previous report noted that as of 16th January, more than 323 million confirmed cases and more than 5.5 million deaths had been reported worldwide.
The report said that 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.
“Nearly 50,000 new deaths were also reported. As of 23 Jan., 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.
“It has 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,’’ it said.
It said that the eastern Mediterranean Region reported the largest increase in the number of new cases by 39 per cent, followed by the South-East Asia Region 36 per cent and the European Region 13 per cent.
It said that the number of new weekly deaths increased in the South-East Asia Region by 44 per cent and the Eastern Mediterranean Region by 15 per cent.
It said others were the Americas 7 per cent, while the other regions all reported declines in new weekly deaths.
“In this edition, we provide updates on the geographic distribution of circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOCs), and summarize their phenotypic characteristics based on available studies.