Taj Mahal to reopen even as virus rages in India


People take pictures with their mobile phones near the Taj Mahal in Agra on September 8, 2020. India's top tourist attraction the Taj Mahal is set to reopen more than six months after it was shut, officials said on September 8, even as the vast nation battles soaring coronavirus infections. (Photo by PAWAN SHARMA/AFP via Getty Images)
People take pictures with their mobile phones near the Taj Mahal in Agra on September 8, 2020. India's top tourist attraction the Taj Mahal is set to reopen more than six months after it was shut, officials said on September 8, even as the vast nation battles soaring coronavirus infections. (Photo by PAWAN SHARMA/AFP via Getty Images)

INDIA’s top tourist attraction the Taj Mahal is set to reopen more than six months after it was shut, officials said Tuesday (8), even as the vast nation battles soaring coronavirus infections.



India, home to 1.3 million people, on Monday(7) overtook Brazil to become the world’s second most-infected nation with more than 4.2 million cases, behind only the US.

“The Taj Mahal will reopen on September 21. All Covid-19 protocols, like physical distancing, masks will be followed,” northern Uttar Pradesh state’s tourism department deputy director Amit Srivastava said.

Visitors will be limited to 5,000 a day, down from the usual daily average of 20,000, he added.



One of the New Seven Wonders of the World, the shining marble mausoleum south of the capital New Delhi has been closed since mid-March as part of India’s strict virus lockdown.

Uttar Pradesh, home to Agra city where the Taj is located, is one of the worst-hit states in India with more than 270,000 virus cases recorded so far.

India has pushed ahead with reopening to boost its virus-battered economy even as infections have steadily increased.



Since August, India has been reporting the highest single-day rises in the world.

India recorded its highest daily deaths from the coronavirus in more than a month on Tuesday(8), even as new infections slowed, data from the health ministry showed.

The health ministry said 1,133 people had died of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, the highest since July, taking total mortalities to 72,775. But new daily cases were at 75,809, the lowest in a week.



Currently, India has a cumulative caseload of 4.28 million.