Taj Mahal reopens despite Covid-19 cases increase in India

The iconic Taj Mahal has reopened its doors to visitors after six months of closure with special rules, including prohibiting all visitors from touching the white marble walls of the mausoleum.

At the onset, authorities say that only 5,000 visitors are allowed daily, a significant decrease in the usual capacity, and all should have their temperature taken before access.

 

The return of visitors is a huge relief to the many people of the Agra area who depend on Taj Mahal tourists for their livelihoods.

 

The facility was closed as the country went into a stringent lockdown in March to halt the spread of coronavirus.

 

Before the coronavirus pandemic, the Taj Mahal, which is also one of the world’s leading tourist attractions drew as many as 70,000 visitors every day.

The 17th-Century marble mausoleum was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his queen, Mumtaz Mahal.

According to BBC, the entire campus was sanitized before the doors opened at 8 am on Monday, September 21, and all officials were seen wearing masks and face shields.

The reopening comes as the Indian government seeks to get Asia’s third-largest economy moving again even as virus cases rise.

So far it has recorded more than 5.4 million coronavirus cases making it the second most affected country after the US.

A lockdown imposed in March left tens of millions out of work almost overnight, while the economy shrank by almost a quarter between April and June.

eashimwe@newtimesrwanda.com

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