Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin appealed to people to take the views of doctors as a warning that in the case of a possible third wave of COVID-19, it may be worse and similar to the Spanish flu.
The chief minister, in a statement, also cautioned that the public should not force the government to impose a lockdown by not adhering to COVID-19 norms while in public.
Stating that his government through various measures tried to contain the spread of the virus, he said, "though we have tried to contain the virus, we have not completely stopped its spread."
"It is also difficult to put a full stop since it is contagious and even those countries which had presumed that the virus has been contained, have witnessed a resurgence", he said.
The virus spread has been increasing in neighbouring Kerala, Karnataka and even in Maharashtra, he said.
"When a lockdown was announced the virus spread had been contained and when relaxations were announced there was a slight increase in its spread. People should be aware of it," he said.
Stalin said by allowing the shops to open, people were able to buy the essential items that they needed, but at the same time they failed to follow the COVID-19 protocols while visiting a shop.
"It is painful to see people not wearing masks nor maintaining social distance while they are in public", he added.
It is for these reasons, the government has directed officials to shut those areas where there is a possibility of people gathering in large numbers, he said.
Shops were allowed to operate only because the livelihood of the people should not get affected, he added.
On the vaccination front, the chief minister said the government has been inoculating people as per the vaccines that were released to the state by the Centre and added that those who were yet to receive the jabs should get vaccinated.
He also pointed out that the private hospitals also have come forward to provide the vaccines for free to people by using the CSR funds of companies.
"As compared to the first and second wave of the virus, doctors have commented that in the possibility of a COVID-19 third wave, it may be much worse than the Spanish flu and we should take it as a warning," he said.
The chief minister appealed to people to go out only if it was necessary and while coming out, they should wear double masks while ensuring hands are cleaned regularly.
Tamil Nadu, after witnessing a declining trend for more than a month, recorded a marginal increase in daily infections since July 29.