With over 5,000 cases of coronavirus registered till now and a gradual increase in daily infections since the last two weeks, Surat city is emerging as the next COVID-19 hotspot in Gujarat after Ahmedabad.
The severity of the situation can be gauged from the fact that Gujarat's Principal Secretary, Health, Jayanti Ravi, has been camping in Surat city since the last three days in a bid to find ways to contain the virus.
Addressing the media in Surat on Thursday, Ravi stressed on breaking the transmission chain to contain the COVID-19 spread and assured all necessary steps to tame the infection in the diamond city.
On June 19, Surat had reported just 93 cases in a day, while Ahmedabad's tally of fresh daily infections was 312.
A week later, on June 25, Surat's tally jumped to 152, while Ahmedabad city's daily count came down to 225 cases.
On June 27, when Gujarat reported over 600 fresh cases for the first time in a day, Surat's count was 174, while Ahmedabad city's tally stood at 197.
The gradual increase in cases continued and on June 30, for the first time, Surat city's tally overtook that of Ahmedabad.
Out of the 620 cases registered across the state on June 30, as many as 183 emerged from Surat city, followed by 182 in Ahmedabad city.
On July 1, the count was 180 in Surat and 208 in Ahmedabad, indicating that while the COVID-19 situation is improving in Ahmedabad, its worsening in the diamond city.
One of the main reasons for sharp increase in cases in Surat can be the infection spread through diamond units, which were opened in the beginning of June following Unlock - 1 announcement.
Till now, around 570 diamond workers and their relatives in Surat have tested positive for coronavirus, said Surat Municipal Commissioner Banchhanidhi Pani.
To stop the COVID-19 spread, the SMC has ordered closure of diamond polishing units for one week, starting from June 30.
In the notification announcing the closure two days back, Pani noted the measure, though temporary, was necessary because diamond workers were found working without wearing face masks and not following social distancing norms.
It also came to light that many sick workers, to save their jobs, continued reporting for work by taking paracetamol tablets to suppress fever and other symptoms, Pani had said.
Ravi had on Wednesday expressed confidence that the seven-day closure of diamond units will help in stopping human-to-human transmission of the deadly virus.
So far, Surat district has recorded 5,030 coronavirus cases and 163 deaths.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)