Covid infections show sharp upturn in Middle East

Brian Whitaker
1 min readJan 2, 2022
New Covid-19 cases per day in the Middle East and North Africa since March 1, 2020. Seven-day rolling average, week by week.

Covid-19 cases are rising again in the Middle East and North Africa. Last week’s daily average of new infections across the region was running almost 50% above the previous week’s figure.

Among the 20 countries monitored, 13 reported increases and in six of those the week-on-week rise was more than 100%:

New infections peaked in mid-August when the region’s daily average topped 73,000, according to official figures. They then fell steadily for 15 consecutive weeks but gradually levelled off before rising again last week.

The actual number of new infections — averaging just under 18,000 a day last week — is still lower than it was a couple of months ago but the sharpness of the upturn suggests the Omicron variant is beginning to take hold in most of the region.

See spreadsheet for more detailed statistics of new cases and deaths across the region.

Originally published at



Brian Whitaker

Former Middle East editor of the Guardian. Website: Author of 'Arabs Without God'.