Note: There is now a newer Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Situation Report 62.
WHO Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Situation Report 61
- Six new countries/territories/areas (African Region , European Region , Region of the Americas , South East Asia Region  and Western Pacific Region ) have reported cases of COVID-19.
- WHO has updated the case definitions. The full guidance document can be found here and in Case Definitions below.
- WHO regional directors of Europe, the Western Pacific, and Africa called for global solidarity to fight COVID-19. Ensuring international cooperation, investing in health, and engaging communities are keys to effectively tackle the pandemic. The full briefing can be found here.
- Updated technical guidance on critical preparedness, readiness, and response; advice on the use of masks; infection prevention and control; and laboratory testing can be found here.
- OpenWHOis constantly updating and adding online open courses for COVID-19 as a resource for health professionals, decision-makers and the public. As of 20 March, more than 500 000 learners have already enrolled. COVID-19 resources are hosted on 2 learning channels: one for courses in official WHO languages here and a second for courses in additional national languages here.
Global Level: Very High
Coronavirus Situation in Numbers
- 266,073 confirmed cases (32,000 new)
- 11,184 deaths (1,344 new)
Western Pacific Region
- 94,037 confirmed cases (688 new)
- 3,426 deaths (21 new)
- 128,541 confirmed cases (23,950 new)
- 6,000 deaths (1,101 new)
- 979 confirmed cases (61 new)
- 38 deaths (7 new)
Eastern Mediterranean Region
- 22,355 confirmed cases (1,596 new)
- 1,466 deaths (154 new)
Regions of the Americas
- 18,877 confirmed cases (5,606 new)
- 235 deaths (57 new)
- 572 confirmed cases (99 new)
- 12 deaths (4 new)
Countries, territories or areas with reported laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths, March 21, 2020
|United States of America||15219|
|Republic of Korea||8799|
|International (Diamond Princess Cruise Ship)||712|
|United Arab Emirates||140|
|Republic of Moldova||66|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||44|
|Democratic Republic of the Congo||14|
|Trinidad and Tobago||9|
|United Republic of Tanzania||6|
|Antigua and Barbuda||1|
|Central African Republic||1|
|Isle of Man||1|
|Papua New Guinea||1|
|Saint Vincent and the Grenadines||1|
Recommendations and Advice for the Public
If you are not in an area where COVID-19 is spreading or have not traveled from an area where COVID-19 is spreading or have not been in contact with an infected patient, your risk of infection is low. It is understandable that you may feel anxious about the outbreak. Get the facts from reliable sources to help you accurately determine your risks so that you can take reasonable precautions (see Frequently Asked Questions). Seek guidance from WHO, your healthcare provider, your national public health authority or your employer for accurate information on COVID-19 and whether COVID-19 is circulating where you live. It is important to be informed of the situation and take appropriate measures to protect yourself and your family (see Protection measures for everyone).
If you are in an area where there are cases of COVID-19 you need to take the risk of infection seriously. Follow the advice of WHO and guidance issued by national and local health authorities. For most people, COVID-19 infection will cause mild illness however, it can make some people very ill and, in some people, it can be fatal. Older people, and those with pre-existing medical conditions (such as cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease or diabetes) are at risk for severe disease (See Protection measures for persons who are in or have recently visited (past 14 days) areas where COVID-19 is spreading).
WHO periodically updates the Global Surveillance for human infection with coronavirus disease (COVID-19) document which includes case definitions.
For easy reference, case definitions are included below.
A. A patient with acute respiratory illness (fever and at least one sign/symptom of respiratory disease, e.g., cough, shortness of breath), AND a history of travel to or residence in a location reporting community transmission of COVID-19 disease during the 14 days prior to symptom onset.
B. A patient with any acute respiratory illness AND having been in contact with a confirmed or probable COVID-19 case (see definition of contact) in the last 14 days prior to symptom onset;
C. A patient with severe acute respiratory illness (fever and at least one sign/symptom of respiratory disease, e.g., cough, shortness of breath; AND requiring hospitalization) AND in the absence of an alternative diagnosis that fully explains the clinical presentation.
A. A suspect case for whom testing for the COVID-19 virus is inconclusive.
a. Inconclusive being the result of the test reported by the laboratory.
B. A suspect case for whom testing could not be performed for any reason.
A person with laboratory confirmation of COVID-19 infection, irrespective of clinical signs and symptoms.
- Technical guidance for laboratory testing can be found here.
Definition of contact
A contact is a person who experienced any one of the following exposures during the 2 days before and the 14 days after the onset of symptoms of a probable or confirmed case:
- Face-to-face contact with a probable or confirmed case within 1 meter and for more than 15 minutes;
- Direct physical contact with a probable or confirmed case;
- Direct care for a patient with probable or confirmed COVID-19 disease without using proper personal protective equipment; OR
- Other situations as indicated by local risk assessments.
Note: for confirmed asymptomatic cases, the period of contact is measured as the 2 days before through the 14 days after the date on which the sample was taken which led to confirmation.