Pune: Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Monday said people must follow COVID-19 safety protocols if the state is to avoid another lockdown.Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray was of the view that lockdown may become necessary in some cities if the new cases continue to climb, Tope told reporters here.At the same time, he also defended the state's response to rising cases and pointed out that in terms of cases per million population, many states have fared worse.Also Read | Six wrong calls on post-covid economy He met the Chief Minister two days ago, Tope said."He told me that if the number of daily cases in the state remains in the range of 25,000 to 30,000 for the next some days, then we will have to take some stringent steps. He is of the opinion that if the numbers continue to increase, we will have to impose lockdown in some cities," the minister said, news agency PTI reports."I appeal people to respond to CM's warning (about the possibility of lockdown) positively and follow the COVID-19 protocols such as mask-wearing, hand hygiene and physical distancing to avoid lockdown," Tope said.On Monday, Maharashtra reported 24,645 new cases. With this, the total covid-19 caseload increased to 25,04,327. On Sunday, the state had reported 30,535 cases, while on Saturday 27,126 infections were recorded. On March 18, the state had reported 25,833 cases.