Mumbai: Hours after the Centre asked the Maharashtra government to align its guidelines with the SOPs issued by the Union Health Ministry, state minister Aaditya Thackeray on Wednesday said his state needs to be more careful than other states regarding the new Covid variant Omicron as Maharashtra was worst-hit in the second wave.Also Read - Dakshina Kannada Imposes Fresh Restrictions, Makes 7-day Isolation Must For Students From Kerala | Guidelines Here

Speaking to NDTV, Aaditya Thackeray made it clear that Maharashtra’s rules will still be different from the Centre’s version as “People’s safety is top priority”. Also Read - Health Ministry Issues Guidelines on Home Isolation For Mild COVID Patients, Exempts Asymptomatic Contacts From Getting Tested

Amid friction with the Centre over the guidelines at airports, Aaditya Thackeray refused to divulge details and pointed out that Maharashtra has a big floating population. Also Read - Stop Using Cloth Masks Right Away Against Omicron Variant, Here's What The Study Says

“We have to do certain things in a stricter fashion because if you see the last time also — we were hit first, we were hit the hardest and we were always accountable and transparent… so we need to be a little cautious about our state,” he told NDTV.

Earlier in the day, the Central government asked the Maharashtra government to align its order with the SOPs issued by the Union Health Ministry.

On Tuesday, Maharashtra had mandated seven-day institutional quarantine for travellers arriving in the state from ‘at-risk’ countries under the guidelines issued by the State Disaster Management Authority.

In the order, the state government said such passengers will also undergo-PCR test on the second, fourth and seventh day of arrival. “If found to be COVID-19 positive, the passenger will be shifted to a hospital. In case the test is negative, the passenger will still have to undergo seven-day home quarantine,” the order stated.

In a letter to Maharashtra government, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said the order issued by the Uddhav govt is in divergence with the COVID-19 SoPs and guidelines issued by Union Health Ministry for international passengers.

“I would, therefore, urge you to align the orders issued by the state with the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health, Government of India, so that uniform implementation of the guidelines may be ensured across all states and UTs,” Rajesh Bhushan said.

As per the new guidelines from the Union Health Ministry, passengers originating or transiting from at-risk countries will have to undergo-PCR testing post-arrival and will be required to wait for the results at the airport before leaving or taking a connecting flight.