Taj Mahal closed as coronavirus cases jump to 125 | The Daily Star
12:49 PM, March 17, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:24 PM, March 17, 2020

Taj Mahal closed as coronavirus cases jump to 125

The Taj Mahal in Agra and several other key historical monuments across India shut to visitors today as part of the country's ramped-up measures to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

"Keeping in mind the coronavirus situation, all ticketed monuments and all other museums have been directed to be closed until March 31," Tourism Minister Prahlad Patel tweeted late Monday night.

The ticketed monuments include the historic Red Fort and Qutab Minar in Delhi and Fatehpuri Sikri, which is about 40 kilometres from Agra, reports our New Delhi correspondent.

On Monday night, India also announced closure of all schools, gyms and swimming pools.

The country has so far reported 125 positive cases and three deaths from the virus.

The cases include 22 foreign nationals. Maharashtra has the highest number of cases with 39, including three foreigners.

Kerala has recorded 24 cases, including two foreign nationals. The number also includes three patients who were discharged last month after they recovered from the contagious infection with flu-like symptoms.

Ladakh has reported four cases, Jammu and Kashmir three, Telangana four, Delhi seven, Uttar Pradesh 13, Karnataka 8, and Rajasthan four, while Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Punjab have one case each.

In Haryana, all fourteen infected are foreigners, while Uttarakhand has reported one case.

Amid rising coronavirus cases in India, the government has said no community transmission of the virus has been observed and there have only been a few cases of local transmission so far.

Worldwide, the number of deaths has passed 6,500 with more than 168,000 infections in 142 countries and territories.

India also suspended all incoming tourists and will bar passengers of flights from the European Union, the European Free Trade Association, Turkey and the United Kingdom from Wednesday.

Travellers coming from or transiting through the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Oman and Kuwait are required to undergo a 14-day quarantine when they arrive in India, the government announced late on Monday.

Arrivals from China, Italy, Iran, South Korea, France, Spain and Germany are already subject to similar restrictions, while most border points with Bangladesh and Myanmar have been shut.

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