The World Health Organisation hopes the coronavirus crisis can be over in less than two years, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says.
The Spanish flu that hit in 1918 took two years to end, he said.
"Our situation now with more technology, of course with more connectiveness, the virus has a better chance of spreading, it can move fast," he said.
"At the same time we have the technology and knowledge to stop it."
More than 22.81 million people have been reported to be infected by the coronavirus globally and 793,382 have died, according to a Reuters tally.
WHO epidemiologist Maria Van Kerkhove added more research was needed on the impact of mutations in the coronavirus.
"A special working group has been formed to identify mutations... and we're looking at how we can better understand what the mutation means and how they behave," she told a briefing in Geneva on Friday.
South Korea added its most new virus cases in months on Friday, driven by a surge around the capital that appears to be spreading across the country.
The 324 new infections was its highest single day total since early March and the eighth consecutive triple-digit daily increase.
Most of the new cases are in the densely populated Seoul region, where health workers are scrambling to track transmissions from sources including churches, restaurants, schools and workers.
But the new infections reported on Friday were from practically all major cities, including Busan, Gwangju, Daejeon, Sejong and Daegu, the southeastern city that was the epicentre of a massive outbreak in late February and March.
The new figures reported by South Korea's Centres for Disease Control and Prevention brought the country's caseload to 16,670, including 309 deaths.
Meanwhile, authorities in Hong Kong say they will offer free testing to its residents starting September 1.
The testing program, which will last a maximum of two weeks, is on a voluntary basis.
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said universal testing was possible due to support from officials in Beijing, who provided resources such as laboratory staff to boost capacity in the city.
India's coronavirus caseload crossed 2.9 million with a surge of 68,898 in the past 24 hours.
The health ministry on Friday also reported 983 more deaths, taking total fatalities to 54,849.
India has been recording at least 50,000 new infections per day since mid-July.
The ministry said more than 900,000 tests are being done and the rate of tests that are positive for the virus is averaging 8 per cent.
Meanwhile, Sri Lankan authorities have decided to reopen all schools after health officials declared the coronavirus is under control.
The country has reported 2,918 coronavirus cases and 11 deaths.
In another positive indication, China's capital Beijing has removed a requirement for people to wear masks outdoors after it reported 13 consecutive days without new cases.
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