Don’t force us to impose lockdown: Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray warns amid surge in COVID-19 cases

Mumbai: In the view of rapidly increasing COVID-19 cases in the state, Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray directed the hotels and restaurants to adhere to COVID-19 protocols and not force the concerned authorities to enforce desperate measures like complete lockdown in the state.

“Do not force us to impose a strict lockdown. Consider this as the last warning. Follow all the rules. Everyone has to realise there is a difference between self-discipline and restrictions,” said CM Thackeray while addressing representatives of hotel and restaurant associations at a virtual meet.

The Shiv Sena leader also stated that crowds had increased in most public places since activities resumed in a phased manner from October itself, and COVID-19 protocols were not being followed, which resulted in a surge in the number of cases in the state.

“Last week, a Central team visited Mumbai and one of the members told me no one was wearing masks or following social distancing at a hotel they visited. Initially, hotels, restaurants were adhering strictly to COVID-19 norms, but now everyone has become lackadaisical,” the Maharashtra chief minister said.

The CM also added that the authorities are not in favour of imposing lockdown in the state to tackle the current situation.

Meanwhile, on Saturday Maharashtra recorded more than 15,000 new cases in the last 24 hours, which is one of the highest in the country ever. The total caseload in the state now stands at 22,97,793, while the death toll has reached 52,811.

Earlier, Dr. VK Paul, Member (Health) of NITI Aayog had said that the center is very worried about the situation in Maharashtra. “We are very worried about Maharashtra. This is a serious matter. This has two lessons- don’t take the virus for granted and if we have to remain COVID free, then, we need to follow COVID appropriate behaviour, containment strategy and vaccination,” said Dr VK Paul.

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