To tackle the surge in the Covid-19 situation in the state, Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray ordered hotels and restaurants to adhere to COVID-19 protocols and not force the state to enforce drastic measures like lockdown.

“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,” Thackeray said while speaking at a virtual meeting attended by representatives of hotel and restaurant associations, shopping centre groups.

Thackeray also said that crowds had increased in most places since activities resumed in a phased manner from October, and safety rules were not being followed and this had resulted in a steep surge in cases.

“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 chief minister said.

He said his government is not in favour of a lockdown to tackle the latest surge and asked people to cooperate to avoid having to take such a drastic decision.

Maharashtra recorded more than 15,000 new cases of covid-19 on Saturday after recording this year’s highest one-day on Friday with 15,817 new infections coming to light, a health official said.

The state has been witnessing a surge in new cases of coronavirus for the last four days. The caseload in the state rose to 22,97,793, while the death toll reached 52,811 with 88 new fatalities.

Before Friday, the state had earlier reported more than 15,000 cases on October 2 last year, after which new cases had declined. But a fresh surge in cases began last month and the state recorded 13,659 and 14,317 cases on Wednesday and Thursday.

(With inputs from agencies)

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