People in Wuhan on Saturday lined up at various hospitals to be examined for a newly identified coronavirus, which has infected more than 1,000 people and killed 41 so far.
The Chinese military on Friday began dispatching 450 medical staff to Hubei province, some with experience in past outbreaks including SARS and Ebola, to help treat the many patients hospitalised with viral pneumonia.
The extra staff was sent in response to complaints from people who said family members had been turned away at hospitals at maximum capacity.
In the meantime, Wuhan is quickly constructing a 1,000-bed prefabricated hospital to deal with the crisis, to be completed February 3.
It will be modeled on a hospital built in Beijing for SARS in just six days during the 2002-2003 outbreak.
It is not clear how lethal the new coronavirus is, or even whether it is as dangerous as the ordinary flu, which kills tens of thousands of people every year.
The rapid increase in reported deaths and illnesses does not necessarily mean the crisis is getting worse, but could reflect better monitoring and reporting of the newly discovered virus.