Chinese state media reported new house-to-house checks in Wuhan, a city of 11 million people at the centre of the outbreak, that aimed to seek out and “round up” all infected patients. State media said anyone suspected of having the virus would face mandatory testing and anyone who had close contact with virus patients would be put under quarantine.

According to Chutian Daily, a Wuhan newspaper, 10 quarantine centres similar to the makeshift Fangcang hospital will be set up across eight districts in the city, providing an additional 11,400 beds for people showing mild symptoms of infection. Buildings in factories, industrial estates and transport centres were being converted into makeshift centres for housing patients.

The reports said all communities and villages would be placed under around-the-clock “closed-off” management, in effect putting them under lockdowns. From Tuesday, anyone who buys cough medicine or treatments to bring down a fever in chemists or online will need to use their ID card, the state-funded site the Paper reported.