The UN health agency said it had now identified 25 countries, some from the previous group and some new ones, with potential to stamp out malaria within five years. “These countries will receive specialized support and technical guidance as they work towards the target of zero malaria,” said the WHO in a statement. Eight countries, including China, Iran and Paraguay, succeeded in reporting zero indigenous human cases by 2020. The new group of countries aiming to to do so by 2025 includes Thailand, South Africa and Saudi Arabia. Ongoing efforts against malaria Forty-six of the 87 countries with malaria reported fewer than 10,000 cases of the disease in 2019, compared to 26 countries in 2000. By the end of 2020, 24 countries had reported interrupting malaria transmission for 3 years or more. Of these, 11 were certified malaria-free by WHO. “Many of the countries we are recognizing today carried, at one time, a very high burden of malaria. Their successes were hard-won and came only after decades of concerted action” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General.