LONDON ( Associated Press) – A senior World Health Organization official said Friday that the UN agency was “pleased” to see that China had eased some of its restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic, adding that “it really It is important that governments listen to their people when they are suffering.
In a press conference, WHO’s emergencies director, Dr. Michael Ryan, noted that the organization was pleased to see that China was “adjusting its current strategies” to try to recalibrate its response against COVID-19. was”.
Protests rocked several Chinese cities last week against China’s severe COVID-19 restrictions, in the biggest show of opposition to the ruling Communist Party in decades.
“We’ve all had to deal with movement restrictions, we’ve all had to deal with changes in our lives, and frankly it’s exhausting,” Ryan said. The WHO previously described China’s “zero COVID” strategy as “unsustainable”, alleging that the super-infectious Omicron variant made it impossible to try to prevent new COVID infections.
Ryan said using imported mRNA vaccines, such as those manufactured by BioNTech-Pfizer and Moderna, would be a “solid option” for China to ramp up its vaccination coverage. Home-made vaccines from China have proven less effective, and scientists say any protection they provide is likely to diminish with the advent of the Omicron version.
Ryan said that the decision of which vaccine to use “are choices that sovereign governments must make based on the best benefit of their populations.” He said future strategies must balance “control of the virus with the lives, livelihoods, and well-being and human rights of people in China”.
China is developing its own version of the mRNA vaccine and has not yet licensed any injections by Western companies.