Weekly epidemiological update - 5 January 2021

Data as received by WHO from national authorities, as of 3 January 2021, 10 am CET. Other information collected by epidemic intelligence activities and verified by WHO.


For the third week in a row over 4 million new cases were reported globally, and new deaths increased by 3% to 76 000. This brings the cumulative numbers to over 83 million reported cases and over 1.8 million deaths globally since the start of the pandemic. Recent reports of different variants of SARS-CoV-2 have raised concern about and interest in the impact of viral changes. As of 5 January 2021, the VOC-202012/01 variant initially detected in the United Kingdom has been detected in a small number of cases in 40 other countries/territories/areas in five of the six WHO regions, and the 501Y.V2 variant initially detected in South African in six other countries/territories/areas.

WHO Team
Emergency Response