Hong Kong: China is no longer adopting preventive measures to stop the country's Covid spread and is allowing Chinese nationals to move and travel as per their wishes, The Hong Kong Post reported, adding that this could result in a 2020-like situation when the pathogen spread across the world from Wuhan.

According to some media reports, China is trying to get its entire population infected by Covid so that it could achieve herd immunity and refocus on economic development.

However, the situation on the ground, according to reports, is chaotic with people are dying in their thousands.

The Chinese authorities have, however, turned down offers by Western countries to help Beijing with stronger and more effective vaccines in a bid to stem the rising tide of Covid.

The European Union has offered to provide Covid vaccines to China to help the country control the mass outbreak of infections, according to a report. The offer was made in the wake of the Sinovac and Sinopharm vaccines, produced in China, proving ineffective in developing immunity against Covid, the report said.

Further, according to reports, the ongoing Covid wave in China has seen Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Wuhan, Chongqing, and other urban areas struggling to contain the outbreak, with hospitals overwelmed and mortuaries full.

According to CNN, Covid cases have surged in China after the government abandoned its 'Zero-Covid' policy.

Chinese authorities have been finding it difficult to track the number of Covid infections in the country since mass testing was stopped, said the report.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Wednesday accused China of under-representing the severity of its Covid outbreak, reported CNN.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, at a media briefing in Geneva on Wednesday, said: "We continue to ask China for more rapid, regular, reliable data on hospitalizations and deaths, as well as more comprehensive, real-time viral sequencing."

"WHO is concerned about the risk to life in China and has reiterated the importance of vaccination, including booster doses, to protect against hospitalization, severe disease, and death," Ghebreyesus said, as quoted by CNN.

Chinese President Xi Jinping defended his Covid policy in his public address on the New Year, calling it "rational and well-thought-out".

In his first public address of the new year, Xi, however, did not speak about the government's unpreparedness and the sudden withdrawal of the 'Zero-Covid' policy, leading to a surge in cases across the country, Geo-Politik reported.

He said they have adopted the Covid response following a "science-based and targeted approach".

Xi said, "Following a science-based and targeted approach, we have adapted our Covid response in light of the evolving situation to protect the life and health of the people to the greatest extent possible", according to Geo-Politik.

Xi stressed that officials and the general public, particularly medical professionals and community workers, have "bravely stuck to their posts through it", the Geo-Politik reported.