AGENCIES, Agra: India’s iconic tourist site Taj Mahal has been shut as the deadly coronavirus spread across the country and the number of total cases reached 129.
All ASI-protected monuments and central museums across the country will also be shut till March 31 in view of the threat of coronavirus, Union Culture Minister Prahlad Patal has said. An order regarding the same will be issued soon.
“All ASI monuments and central museums will be shut till March 31 in view of the spread of coronavirus. We are taking this very seriously,” he said.
There are 3,691 centrally-protected monuments and sites under the Archeological Survey of India (ASI). The latest order comes after a high-level meeting of the Group of Ministers (GoM) on COVID-19. In the meeting it was decided that a set of measures for social distancing as a preventive strategy should be implemented.
The GoM proposed closure of all educational establishments (schools, universities etc), gyms, museums, cultural and social centres, swimming pools and theatres. Students have been advised to stay at home. Online education is to be promoted.
The culture ministry officials said given the fact that there are huge footfalls at monuments and museums, it was imperative to shut them down in the wake of the disease outbreak.