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WHO: Drop in global COVID-19 cases continues

The World Health Organization said Wednesday, March 9, 2022, the drop in global COVID-19 cases has continued this week.

The agency stated cases have dropped 5 percent from the previous week as the downward trend has continued for a more than a month, The Associated Press reported.

The health body also reported that global deaths from the coronavirus were down 8 percent in the past two weeks.

The steepest declines in cases this past week were seen in the Middle East, at 46 percent and in Africa at 40 percent.

The only area that saw an increase in infections was the Western Pacific at 46 percent, according to the AP.

Worldwide deaths from the pandemic surpassed six million this week after two years combatting the disease.

The U.S. saw a 51 percent decrease in cases over the last 14 days, according to data collected by The New York Times. On Tuesday, Hawaii became the last state to drop its mask mandate.

The worldwide drop in cases comes after an outbreak of the omicron variant, first detected in South Africa, around the holidays that ravaged a large swath of countries. The variant is highly transmissible, but believed to cause less severe disease than the delta variant.

President Biden has indicated that the U.S. is entering a new phase of the pandemic. After two years of public health professionals scrambling to develop treatments and produce vaccines, Biden announced a new test-and-treat initiative during his State of the Union address last week. 

The new program would allow people to get treatments on the spot at a pharmacy if they test positive for the coronavirus. The first sites for the treatment plan will launch in April.

This article originally appeared on TheHill.

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