The number of COVID-19 patients in Ahmedabad city of Gujarat may grow to eight lakh by the end of May if the current four-day period of doubling of such cases continues, an official said on Friday.
Till Friday evening, Ahmedabad district reported 1,821 coronavirus positive cases, the highest in Gujarat.
"At present, the rate of doubling of cases in Ahmedabad is four days, which means that cases double every four days. If this rate continues, we will have 50,000 cases by May 15 and around 8 lakh by May 31," Ahmedabad Municipal Commissioner Vijay Nehra said in a video message.
"Our target is to bring down this rate to eight days. This will be a very difficult task because very few countries have achieved it," he said.
He added that the US and Europe currently have four days of doubling rate and only South Korea has achieved the eight-day rate.
"If we can slow down the doubling rate to eight days, our cases will be only 10,000 by May 15 instead of 50,000. Similarly, the cases will be just 50,000 by May 31 instead of the estimated eight lakh. The way Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation is taking steps, we are confident of achieving this with the help of people's cooperation," said Nehra.
He stressed that the doubling rate must be brought down before the lockdown comes to an end on May 3.
Separate central teams visited Ahmedabad and Surat cities in Gujarat on Saturday to take
stock of the COVID-19 situation in these two districts, officials said.
The teams held talks with senior officials, including collectors, civic chiefs, police commissioners in Ahmedabad and Surat, they said.
The visit comes a day after the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said that the coronavirus situation in Ahmedabad, Surat, Thane (Maharashtra), Hyderabad (Telangana) and Chennai (Tamil Nadu) is "especially serious".
(With PTI Inputs)