Mumbai | Jagran News Desk: With Maharashtra reporting over 25,000 fresh coronavirus cases for the second straight day, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has issued a warning for the citizens of the state, saying a lockdown is an option if coronavirus cases continue to rise.

"I see lockdown as an option going ahead. But I trust people of the state to cooperate (and follow the COVID-19 norms voluntarily) like the last time," said Thackeray at a press conference, as reported by news agency PTI.

Urging everyone to strictly follow coronavirus norms, the Maharashtra Chief Minister also said that people should come forward and get vaccinated without fear as soon as possible.

"But now at least we have vaccines as a shield. The priority now is to ensure that everyone is vaccinated. People should come forward to take the vaccine," PTI quoted Thackeray as saying.

Maharashtra had on Thursday reported nearly 26,000 coronavirus cases, the biggest single-day since the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic in March last year, sparking panic among the state officials.

A day later, the Maharashtra government issued revised COVID-19 guidelines and banned all kinds of social, political, cultural and sports gatherings in the state. The state government also imposed a cap on theatres and auditoriums and said that they can operate only with 50 per cent capacity.

Meanwhile, the Union Health Ministry has issued a warning to the Maharashtra government and stressed that it needs to stop the emerging second wave of COVID-19. The Health Ministry also stressed that "tracking and testing of cases" should be increased to control the pandemic.

"Maharashtra is in the beginning of a second wave of COVID-19 pandemic. There very limited active effort to track, test, isolate cases and quarantine contacts. There is no adherence to COVID appropriate behaviour among people both in rural and urban areas," the Health Ministry said.

"The Central team inferred that the administrative mechanism should be re-instated to the level witnessed in August -September 2020 to contain/suppress the COVID transmission," it added.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma