A top official at the World Health Organization said the U.N. agency was “pleased” to see China loosening some of its coronavirus restrictions, saying “it's really important that governments listen to their people when the people are in pain”, according to AP.

At a press briefing on Friday, WHO emergencies director Dr. Michael Ryan said the organization was glad to see China “adjusting their current strategies” in trying to recalibrate their response to COVID-19.

Last week, huge protests against the severe COVID-19 restrictions in China erupted in numerous cities, in the biggest show of opposition to the ruling Communist party in decades.

“We’ve all had to deal with restrictions of movement, we’ve all had to deal with having our lives changed and frankly, it’s exhausting,” Ryan said.

The WHO has previously described China’s “zero-COVID” strategy as “not sustainable, ” saying that the super-infectious omicron variant made trying to stop every single case of COVID impossible.

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