Covid-19: ASI extends closure of monuments till May 31

The monuments might also remain closed until further orders, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) announced in a notification. On April 15, the ASI announced the closure of monuments till May 15.
A deserted view of Taj Mahal due to the surge in COVID-19 cases, in Agra. (ANI Photo)
A deserted view of Taj Mahal due to the surge in COVID-19 cases, in Agra. (ANI Photo)
Published on May 12, 2021 06:52 PM IST
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By | Edited by Karan Manral, New Delhi

All centrally protected monuments, which were closed in April due to the rise in daily cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), will remain closed till May 31, or until further orders, due to the current Covid-19 situation, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) announced in a notification on Wednesday.

Also Read | Covid-19: All centrally protected monuments, museums closed for visitors till May 15

“In continuation of the office order dated 15 April, 2021, all the Centrally protected monuments/sites under ASI shall continue to remain closed due to the present Covid-19 pandemic situation till May 31, 2021, or until further orders,” the ASI notification read.

Union culture minister Prahlad Singh Patel shared the notification on his Twitter account. “The Archaeological Survey of India has decided to keep all its monuments closed till May 31 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The decision was taken after approval from the Union culture ministry,” a rough translation of Patel’s tweet, posted in Hindi, read.

On April 15, the ASI ordered closure of all the centrally protected monuments till May 15. The announcement came on a day the country reported more than 200,000 fresh Covid-19 infections in a single-day for the first time. The threshold of more than 100,000 daily coronavirus cases was breached on April 5, and, subsequently, the country also saw more than 300,000 and 400,000 cases in a single-day, along with record high of related daily fatalities.

In July last year, the culture ministry gave its approval for the reopening of monuments, places of worship, museums, heritage sites etc., as the country started exiting the Covid-19 induced lockdown. The monuments were closed in late March, when the first national lockdown was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Also Read | Monuments to open, Setu app must

India’s Covid-19 tally is at 23,340,938, with the addition of 348,421 new cases from the last 24 hours, according to the Union ministry of health and family welfare (MoHFW) dashboard on Wednesday morning. In the same period, 4,205 people succumbed to the viral disease, pushing the related death toll to 254,197.

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