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Home / News / India /  Lockdown to return in Maharashtra amid Omicron covid variant scare? What CM Uddhav Thackeray says
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in view of the new Omicron Covid variant detected in South Africa, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has asked people not to lower their guard against coronavirus.  

He said that the state cannot afford to have another lockdown and in order to avoid it, everyone must follow COVID-appropriate behaviour, news agency PTI reported.

"If the virus spreads again, we can't afford steps like a lockdown. If that is to be avoided, COVID-appropriate behaviour is a must. Regular use of face mask, avoiding crowd, maintaining physical distancing, have to be followed," Thackeray, who is recuperating at a city hospital following a spine surgery, said. 

He also asked the state authorities to take necessary steps on a war footing to protect citizens from the new variant without waiting for the Centre's directives in this regard. "Saying 'kuch nahi hota yaar' (nothing will happen) won't do at all," he said. 

Meanwhile, a man who returned from South Africa to Dombivali in Thane district of Maharashtra recently has tested positive for coronavirus, a Kalyan-Dombivali Municipal Corporation (KDMC) official said on Sunday. It is not confirmed whether the patient was carrying the Omicron variant of coronavirus.

Why are scientists worried about this new Covid strain

The variant appears to have a high number of mutations — about 30 — in the coronavirus' spike protein, which could affect how easily it spreads to people.

On Friday, the WHO designated it as a “variant of concern," naming it “omicron" after a letter in the Greek alphabet.

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