- Title: India pushes back Taj Mahal reopening citing COVID-19 risks
- Date: 6th July 2020
- Summary: AGRA, TAJ MAHAL, INDIA (JULY 06, 2020) (ANI â€“ NO USE INDIA) EXTERIOR OF AGRA FORT SIGNBOARD EXTERIOR OF AGRA FORT BOARD READING NAME OF TOMB OF I'TIMÄ€D-UD-DAULAH MAUSOLEUM EXTERIOR OF TOMB VARIOUS OF ICONIC TAJ MAHAL MONUMENT SEEN FROM DISTANCE SHUT TAJ MAHAL GATE MAN SWEEPING DESERTED TICKET COUNTER SHUT TAJ MAHAL GATE (SOUNDBITE) (Hindi) TOURIST GUIDE AT TAJ MAHAL, NITIN, SAYING: Â Â Â â€œIt was very disappointing. The central government ordered to open the monuments for visitors but Agra is still home to a number of hotspots and containment zones. This is probably why the monuments are not being opened. We were very disappointed because of this.â€ NEW DELHI, INDIA (JULY 06, 2020) (ANI â€“ NO USE INDIA) BOARD OUTSIDE OLD FORT IN NEW DLEHI READING IN HINDI AND ENGLISH ENTRY GATE OF FORT VISITOR, DELHI RESIDENT, SWATI NEGI, ARRIVING WITH CHILD (SOUNDBITE) (Hindi) DELHI RESIDENT, SWATI NEGI, SAYING: â€œWe were very excited about coming here. My daughter really wanted to go out, she was frustrated and so were we after sitting at home for weeks. So, we decided to come here when we heard that it was going to open, but now when we came here, we were disappointed.â€ BOARD READING INFORMATION ABOUT HAUZ KHAS COMPLEX IN HINDI AND ENGLISH VARIOUS OF HAUZ KHAS COMPLEX
- Embargoed: 20th July 2020 10:57
- Keywords: Agra COVID-19 Delhi India Taj Mahal coronavirus disease monuments risk social distancing
- Location: NEW DELHI/AGRA, UTTAR PRADESH, INDIA
- City: NEW DELHI/AGRA, UTTAR PRADESH, INDIA
- Country: India
- Topics: Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA001CLO7J2N
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: IndiaÂ on Monday (July 06), withdrew a planned reopening of the Taj Mahal, citing the risk of new coronavirus infections spreading in the northern city of Agra from visitors flocking to see the 17th-century monument to love.
The government order did not specify the duration of the lockdown for monuments that have been closed since March.
â€œIn the interest of the public, it has been decided that opening monuments in Agra will not be advisable as of nowâ€, the district authorities said in a notice published in Hindi.
Agra, one ofÂ India's first big clusters of the virus, remains the worst-affected city in Uttar Pradesh, the country's most populous state.
Tour guide Nitin, who led US President Donald Trump's Taj Mahal visit said, â€œAgra is still home to a number of hotspots and containment zones, probably that's why the monuments are not being opened. We were very disappointed because of this.â€
It was immediately not known whether the federal government would scrap its plan to reopen other monuments across the country, such as New Delhi's historic Red Fort.
India on Monday surpassed Russia to become the third-worst affected country in the world after the USA and Brazil. India reported a spike of 24,248 new COVID-19 cases and 425 deaths in the last 24 hours. Total positive cases in the country, currently stand at 697,413 including 253,287 active cases, 424,433 cured and 19,693 deaths.
But the government has been lifting a vast lockdown ofÂ India's 1.3 billion people that has left tens of thousands without work and shuttered businesses.
While international flights remain suspended, domestic travel has been opened up, and the government is hoping visitors will start to trickle back to some popular destinations.
Containment zones, areas identified as most affected by the virus, remain under strict lockdown, with restricted access and movement of only essential goods and services.
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