All Archaeological Survey Of India protected monuments, including Taj Mahal, and central museums across the country will be shut till March 31 in view of the threat of coronavirus, Union Culture Minister Prahlad Patel said Monday.
“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 was held on Monday.
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 to be promoted.
The culture ministry officials said given the fact that there are huge footfalls at such monuments as well as museums, it was imperative to shut them down in the wake of the disease outbreak.
The Hindu, who is tracing coronavirus cases in India reported 123 positive cases and two deaths. At least 13 patients were discharged.