As many as 75,815 people in Wuhan may have been infected with the new coronavirus , according to a study by University of Hong Kong scientists. The research, published in The Lancet on Saturday, is based on the assumption that each infected person could have passed the virus on to 2.68 others. The estimated total was as of Tuesday, it said. Meanwhile, the number of new confirmed cases and deaths from the coronavirus in mainland China have hit record daily levels. Authorities in Hubei province, the epicentre of the outbreak, reported 45 new deaths and 1,347 new confirmed cases on Saturday – both daily highs. Of the newly reported deaths, 33 were in Wuhan, the provincial capital, according to the Hubei Health Commission. Humour breaks out in Wuhan as bored residents wait out virus lockdown According to the National Health Commission in Beijing, 11,791 cases had been confirmed across the country as of Friday. The new deaths took the nationwide toll to 259. Also on Saturday, Huanggang – a city of about 7.4 million people – became the first in Hubei to impose strict restrictions on people leaving their homes, saying that just one family member was allowed out to buy necessities every two days. As Beijing scrambles to contain the outbreak, the contagion has spread to all of mainland China’s 31 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions, as well as to at least 22 other countries. More than 120 people outside China have been diagnosed with the potentially deadly virus. In response, immigration authorities in many countries are taking measures to curb the entry of individuals arriving from China. US public health agency orders mandatory quarantine for Wuhan evacuees On Friday, the US government declared a public health emergency and announced that it would deny entry to foreigners travelling from mainland China to prevent the new coronavirus from spreading. The Trump administration has also ordered US citizens, permanent residents and immediate family members arriving in the country from Hubei be quarantined for 14 days starting Sunday at 5pm Eastern time. One of the biggest problems facing authorities trying to tackle the outbreak in China is a shortage of vital supplies. In a bid to ease the situation, the State Council, China’s cabinet, said on Saturday it would waive its trade war tariffs on US imports of such products as medical protective gear and sanitisers. It said also it would freeze taxes on all vehicles donated to help fight the outbreak, including ambulances and those used to spray disinfectant. Both exemptions would apply retrospectively from January 1 until the end of March, so companies that had bought such items since the start of the year could apply for a tax refund, it said. Countries ‘turning a blind eye’ to WHO recommendations In a telephone call with his opposite number in India, China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi accused some nations of disregarding the recommendations made by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on not imposing travel restrictions on China, according to a tweet from the foreign ministry on Saturday. In the same phone call, FM Wang noted certain country has turned a blind eye to WHO recommendations and imposed sweeping travel restrictions against China. This kind of overreaction could only make things even worse. It's not the right way to deal with the pandemic. — Spokesperson发言人办公室 (@MFA_China) February 1, 2020 Several countries have carried out or continued planning evacuations of citizens from Wuhan. Indonesia said it would evacuate 245 citizens from Hubei on Saturday, and that they were expected to arrive home on Sunday. Bangladesh said it had evacuated 316 citizens, including 15 children, from Wuhan. After arriving home, seven of the returnees were taken to hospital, while the others would remain in quarantine for two weeks at a location near the airport, a health official said. Beijing has sent more than 7,000 medical workers to Wuhan to help fight the deadly disease. Two specialist hospitals – Huoshenshan and Leishenshan – are under construction in the city and are expected to be completed next week, adding 2,300 beds in an effort to address an acute shortage of hospital beds in the city. Another super-spreader? Meanwhile, a hospital in Xinyu, Jiangxi, has shut down after 14 of its staff were confirmed to be infected with the coronavirus, the deputy director of the Chinese Centre for Disease Control Cheng Huijian said on Saturday. Forty staff at Number Four Hospital in the city had been isolated and its health commission director Jian Guisheng told Thepaper.cn that 15 of the 17 new confirmed cases involved hospital staff. One of the hospital’s employees was confirmed to have contracted the virus on January 23 but Jian did not elaborate on whether the patient may be a “super-spreader” – a patient who has contact with others at the most virulent stage of the disease. Sars expert Zhong Nanshan said in a press conference on January 21 that a super-spreader had infected 14 medical staff in a hospital in Wuhan. Delta, United, American to halt all flights between US and mainland China Work together, think tanks says Meanwhile, a report by the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies, a government think tank, says that in the battle against the new coronavirus, the international community should work with China, not put up walls. The study also explained why it had been necessary for Beijing to impose a total lockdown on Wuhan and other cities, saying if the move had not been taken, the “highly connected global transport network [would have enabled] … contagious pathogens to spread from backwater villages in unknown corners of the world to major cities on six continents in less than 36 hours”. The People’s Bank of China said on Saturday it would use various momentary policy tools to ensure ample liquidity during the fight against the coronavirus outbreak. In a joint notice – issued with the foreign ministry and the country’s banking and insurance, securities and foreign exchange regulators – the central bank said that lending rates may also be lowered to support companies affected by the outbreak. Producers of medical equipment, including masks, goggles and testing kits, would enjoy additional support, it said. China’s stock markets are set to reopen on Monday. Australians advised not to travel to China Australia has joined US and other countries in upgrading its travel advice to include all of mainland China. “Do not travel”, Prime Minister Scott Morrison advised on Saturday. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) also advised Australians not to travel to China due to the “escalating threat” of the virus, while asking those who have returned from the country to self-isolate for 14 days. DFAT said it would also deny entry to Australia for people who had left or transited through mainland China from today. Vietnam has banned all flights to and from mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau with immediate effect, until May 1. Iran’s Health Minister Saeed Namaki was quoted by Iranian media on Saturday as saying flights to and from China would be banned due to concerns over the spread of coronavirus. While there have been no confirmed infections in the Middle East country, Namaki said the ban was a response to the WHO’s decision to declare a global health emergency. Iran’s vice-president Eshaq Jahangiri said the measure was only temporary. Apple shuts down all mainland stores Apple has announced it will shut down all its official stores in the Chinese mainland until February 9, effective Saturday, due to the outbreak. Three of Apple’s retail stores in China have already been closed: the Rainbow City store in the Nanjing district, the Tahoe Plaza store in Fuzhou, and the Vientiane City location in Qingdao. In contrast, a major semiconductor chip maker in Wuhan is continuing to operate normally, despite the lockdown and public anxiety. Yangtze Memory Technologies Corporation said in a statement published by mainland digital news website Egsea.com on Friday that its production line had kept running during the Lunar New Year holiday. “There is no report of infection among our employees,” the statement said. Reporting by Cissy Zhou, Josephine Ma, Stephen Chen and Phoebe Zhang Purchase the China AI Report 2020 brought to you by SCMP Research and enjoy a 20% discount (original price US$400). This 60-page all new intelligence report gives you first-hand insights and analysis into the latest industry developments and intelligence about China AI. Get exclusive access to our webinars for continuous learning, and interact with China AI executives in live Q&A. Offer valid until 31 March 2020.