The world is within reach of beating the Covid-19 pandemic, the head of the World Health Organization said, shifting to a more upbeat tone while urging countries to keep working to control the virus.

“We have never been in a better position to end the pandemic,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Wednesday in a briefing with journalists. “We are not there yet, but the end is in sight.”

Fewer deaths were linked to Covid around the world last week than in any time since March 2020, said Tedros, who has consistently warned against complacency even as countries eased restrictions. He urged countries to push forward with vaccinations, in particular of older and at-risk people, to plan for surges in cases and keep on testing and sequencing to track the virus.

While Covid continues to circulate intensely around the world, future waves of infections don’t have to translate into waves of fatalities, said Maria van Kerkhove, the WHO’s technical lead officer for Covid.

The organization declared Covid a pandemic on March 11, 2020. Since then, more than 606 million cases have been recorded, with nearly 6.5 million deaths.

This article was provided by Bloomberg News.