The number of newly reported COVID-19 cases have dropped dramatically, the World Health Organization said Wednesday, urging the world to seize the opportunity to end the pandemic.
Newly reported cases of the disease, which has killed millions since appearing in late 2019, last week fell to the lowest level since March 2020, said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
"We have never been in a better position to end the pandemic," he told reporters. "We are not there yet, but the end is in sight."
But the world needed to step up to "seize this opportunity", he added.
"A marathon runner does not stop when the finish line comes into view. She runs harder, with all the energy she has left.
"So must we. We can see the finish line. We're in a winning position. But now is the worst time to stop running," he warned.
"If we don't take this opportunity now, we run the risk of more variants, more deaths, more disruption, and more uncertainty."
In a bid to help countries to do what is needed to rein in the virus, the WHO on Wednesday published six policy briefs.
"These policy briefs are an urgent call for governments to take a hard look at their policies, and strengthen them for COVID-19 and future pathogens with pandemic potential," Tedros said.