Coronavirus (COVID-19) Collection
- Nearly two years since the start of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, which has caused over 5 million deaths, the world continues to be on high COVID-19 alert. The World Health Organization (WHO), in collaboration with national authorities, public health institutions and scientists have been closely monitoring and assessing the evolution of SARS-CoV-2 since January 2020 (WHO 2021a; WHO 2021b). The emergence of specific SARS-CoV-2 variants were characterised as Variant of Interest (VOI) and Variant of Concern (VOC), to prioritise global monitoring and research, and to inform the ongoing global response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The WHO and its international sequencing networks continuously monitor SARS-CoV-2 mutations and inform countries about any changes that may be needed to respond to the variant, and prevent its spread where feasible.
- All countries where malaria is endemic have reported COVID-19 cases. The WHO African Region has experienced >1.5 million cases of COVID-19 (WHO, 2020a) and bears 90% of the global malaria burden. Significant efforts have led to a substantial reduction in malaria deaths in the last decade (WHO, 2019a) and enduring sustainability of malaria interventions and control programs is essential. As signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and malaria partly overlap, diagnostic guidance is inevitable in malaria-endemic settings.
- With the first cases reported on March 14, 2020 (Ntoumi and Velavan, 2020), the Republic of Congo reported a total of 7794 cases with 117 deaths as of January 25, 2021, with transmission driven by the community (WHO, 2021).
- The occurrence of asymptomatic individuals with coronaviruses presents a significant public health issue (Nikolai et al., 2020). As of December 15, 2020, there had been more than 73,557,491 coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infections world-wide and 1,637,053 deaths (University JH, 2020). The United States had the highest number of infections in the world, with 16,724,753 cases and 303,849 deaths. In Africa, South Africa had the highest number of cases (873,678) and deaths (23,661). The Republic of the Congo, with an estimated population of 5,300,000, had recorded 6200 cases and 100 deaths, as of December 12, 2020 (SITREP 115, Congo).