The report also highlights the difficulties in tracking the impact of the pandemic, which has led to fears that some people in the Middle Eastern region are simply not being counted.
“The report highlights the many challenges we face in our capacity to accurately track the spread of the global pandemic,” the authors write.
“To ensure the best information and insights are available, the report provides a range of data sources to track the impact, from public health data to national and international reports.”
While the study found that a third of the countries surveyed in the region were able to provide reliable estimates of the number of deaths, there was also “no uniform approach” by regions to tracking and reporting cases of the disease.
“This suggests that some countries may be relying on incomplete or unreliable data to track cases,” the report reads.
“It is important that countries have the tools to accurately count cases and to report the results.
We encourage them to do so, but we also recognise that such a system will not be reliable.”
The report notes that, while the number and severity of cases has fallen over the past year, there has been a dramatic increase in cases in the past two weeks.
“The world’s health community has become much more vigilant in monitoring and reporting the impact,” the researchers conclude.
“Countries need to build upon the work of the WHO and other international organizations to increase their capacity to collect and report data and to ensure that the data they collect and analyse is reliable.”
With reporting by Al Jazeera’s Adriana Toth, AP