Agra: The picturesque Taj Mahal reopens to visitors on Monday even as India looks set to overtake the US as the global leader in coronavirus infections.
The world-famous white marble mausoleum in the city of Agra south of New Delhi is India’s most popular tourist site. It usually draws seven million visitors a year, but has been closed since March.
India, home to 1.3 billion people and some of the world’s most crowded cities, has recorded more than 5.4 million Covid cases. Around 100,000 new infections and over 1,000 deaths are reported almost daily for the last few days.
But in face of a falling GDP, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is more in favour of kick starting economic activities.
The Modi government, in recent months, has eased more and more restrictions including on many train routes, domestic flights, markets, and restaurants.
Officials say that when the Taj Mahal reopens, strict social distancing rules will be imposed and daily visitor numbers will be capped at 5,000 — a quarter the normal rate. Tickets can only be bought online.