Coronavirus [COVID-19] – WHO

Coronavirus [COVID-19] – WHO

Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)

Weekly Epidemiological and Operational updates

Last update: 23 January 2021

Confirmed cases ::   101 561 219    [week ago:  96 877 399]     [two weeks ago: 92 506 811

Confirmed deaths ::    2 196 944     [week ago:   2 098 879]     [two weeks ago:  2 001 773] 

Countries, areas or territories with cases :: 223

Weekly epidemiological update -27 January 2021


   Globally, 4.1 million new cases were reported in the past week, a decline of 15% from last week, and the number of new deaths reported was just under 96 000, comparable to the previous week. This brings the cumulative numbers to over 98.2 million reported cases and over 2.1 million deaths globally since the start of the pandemic

Special Focus: Update on SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern

[1] Variant VOC 202012/01, lineage B.1.1.7: Since our last update on 19 January, variant VOC 202012/01 has been detected in ten additional countries. As of 25 January, a total of 70 countries across all six WHO regions have reported either imported cases or community transmission of this variant (Figure 3). Local transmission has been reported in several other European countries…

[2] Variant 501Y.V2, lineage B.1.351: Since the last update on 19 January, 501Y.V2 has been reported from eight additional countries– now totalling 31 countries across five of the six WHO regions (Figure 4). In South Africa, where this variant was initially identified, new weekly cases increased from early November 2020, peaking in early January 2021. In the past two weeks, a decreasing trend has been observed…

[3]  Variant P.1, lineage B.1.1.28: Since our last update, variant P.1 has been reported in six additional countries. To date, this variant is reported in eight countries (Figure 5). In Brazil, where the variant was initially identified in addition to detection in a group of travellers from Brazil to Japan, the number of new weekly cases in the past two weeks are reported at higher levels compared to that of September to November 2020, and new weekly deaths have increased since early November 2020. The highest weekly cases since the start of the pandemic was reported in the week commencing 11 January 2021. Based on the preliminary investigations conducted in Manaus, Amazonas State, there has been an increase in the proportion of cases sequenced as variant P.1, from 52.2% (35/67) in December 2020 to 85.4% (41/48) in January 2021, highlighting ongoing local transmission of this variant and, given the mutations documented, raising similar concerns for potential increases in transmissibility or propensity for re-infection (10). Further studies are needed to assess if there are changes in transmissibility, severity or antibody neutralizing activity as a result of these new variants…

The emergence of new variants has underscored the importance for everyone, including those previously infected or vaccinated, to strictly adhere to public health and social measures. They also highlight the importance of increasing diagnostic capacity and systematic sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 where capacity allows, as well as the timely sharing of sequence data internationally. Systematic sequencing should be considered for a subset of incoming travellers, as well as community-based samples to ascertain the existence and extent of local transmission. Virus sequencing should be performed in all breakthrough disease following vaccination, in addition to population-based vaccine effectiveness studies. Global surveillance on virus evolution should continue to inform adjustments to public health and social measures


Interim recommendations for use of the Moderna mRNA-1273 vaccine against COVID-19

25 January 2021 | COVID-19: Critical preparedness, readiness and response


   This interim guidance has been developed on the basis of the advice issued by the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE) at its extraordinary meeting on 21 January 2021.