Mumbai | Jagran News Desk: The sudden spike in fresh COVID-19 cases in Mumbai has forced the Maharashtra government to mull fresh lockdown measures with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray warning people to strictly follow government-mandated guidelines on masks and social distancing. 

"It is up to the people of the state to decide if they want a lockdown or live freely with some restrictions. Wear face masks and avoid crowds or else (you) will need to go into a lockdown again," Thackeray said on Tuesday. 

Meanwhile, Shiv Sena's mouthpiece 'Saamana' today said that situation in the state "worrying and serious", and "though lockdown will be the last step, people should take all necessary precautions."

After reporting 4,092 COVID-19 cases on last Sunday, highest single-day tally in more than a month, Maharashtra registered 3,663 new cases on Tuesday, 461 of them in Mumbai. This was the seventh straight day when the state's daily count remained above the 3,000-mark, indicating a steady rise in infections as compared to the previous few weeks.

The authorities in Chembur have already fresh guidelines for socieities, directing hawkers to undergo mandatory COVID-19 tests as the area is witnessing the highest spike in cases. 

Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar had also warned of a lockdown as she noted that most people travelling on trains did not wear masks. 

Thackeray on Monday said asked the administration to ensure safety norms like wearing face masks in public and social distancing are followed and authorised officials to take action against offenders. Mobile vans should be used in rural areas to increase the number of COVID-19 tests, the chief minister said.

Police permission will be required for organising marriage functions, Thackeray said.

"Marriage ceremonies held up for the last one year have resumed...social gatherings and parties have also begun without any safety rules.

"Timings of hotels and restaurants have been extended but safety norms have been neglected," Thackeray said, adding local authorities should keep a vigil on crowding and take immediate action wherever necessary.

Banquet hall owners should be punished if anybody is found moving in the premises without a face mask, he said.

The chief minister said agitations, public meetings and processions should not be permitted given the present COVID-19 situation.

He said the authorities should cancel permits and licences of halls and auditoriums where safety SoPs are not followed during marriages and other social functions. The CM directed that field hospitals should be monitored to check if all facilities are functional.

(With PTI inputs)

Posted By: Abhinav Gupta