New Delhi: Amid the rising coronavirus cases in the state, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday evening made an address and appealed to the people to cooperate and follow protocols to avoid another COVID-19 wave in the western state. Also Read - Maharashtra Records 5439 COVID-19 Cases in 24 Hours, State Says no Plan to Impose Lockdown

“In the past, we celebrated all our festivals with caution. Be it Ganeshotsav or Dussehra. You all are cooperating with me. Even while celebrating Diwali, I requested you to not burst crackers and you followed it. And because of this, the war against Covid is in our control,” the chief minister said. Also Read - Arnab Goswami’s Plea Against Privilege Notice Adjourned for Two weeks by SC

“But I am a bit angry with you all. I had already said after Diwali there will be overcrowding. Don’t think Covid is over. I have seen many people not wearing masks. Don’t be so careless. Be in western countries, Delhi or Ahmedabad. This second and third wave is strong like a tsunami. Ahmedabad has even enforced night curfews,” Thackeray added. Also Read - From Lockdown to Vaccine Distribution, Third Wave of COVID to Pollution Crisis: What Transpired at PM-CMs Meeting?

Maharashtra has been the worst-hit state by coronavirus since the beginning of the pandemic with Mumbai being the worst-affected city in the country and the situation got better only in the recent months.

“Covid is not dying because of overcrowding. In fact, it is going to grow. The vaccine is still not out and we don’t know when it will come out. Even if it comes out in December, then when will it come to Maharashtra? Maharashtra has 12 crore people. And it needs to be given twice. So we will need a vaccine for 25 crore people. So please take care of yourself. It will take time,” CM Thackeray said.

“If we don’t have enough beds, our healthcare workers get infected, then nobody can save us. This is not the case right now but we still have to be very careful. We have still not been able to open schools. We are at a cusp. I don’t want to go to any lockdown again,” he said.

“Hence once again I want to tell you, don’t overcrowd, wear a mask, wash hands, and keep a distance. This alone will keep us safe. I have now opened all places of worship. But please don’t overcrowd these places,” the CM added.

Uddhav Thackeray’s address came hours after his deputy Ajit Pawar hinted at another potential lockdown in the state.

The government has already postponed the reopening of schools in several districts including Pune and Aurangabad due to the sudden surge of COVID-19 cases.

Maharashtra reported a total of 5,753 coronavirus positive cases today, taking the state’s overall infection count to 17,80,208. The death of 50 patients took the fatality count to 46,623, the health department said. There are 81,512 active cases in the state at present.