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Taj Mahal closed amid coronavirus fears

Taj Mahal closed amid coronavirus fears

India closed the Taj Mahal, its top tourist site, and the financial hub of Mumbai ordered offices providing non-essential services to function at 50 per cent staffing levels as efforts to control the spread of coronavirus in South Asia ramped up.Mumbai, a densely populated metropolis of 18 million, also authorised hospital and airport authorities to stamp the wrists of those who have been ordered to self-isolate with indelible ink reading “Home Quarantined” and displaying the date until which the person has been ordered to self-quarantine.
The moves, announced late on Monday, come just days after authorities in the city shut down schools, cinemas, malls, gyms and banned mass gatherings, reports Reuters.
India’s western state of Maharashtra, home to Mumbai, has been the hardest hit in India with 39 confirmed coronavirus cases, or about a quarter of the 120 plus confirmed cases in the country.
Along with the Taj Mahal, dozens of other protected monuments and museums across in the country including the Ajanta and Ellora caves and religious sites such as the Siddhivinayak temple in Mumbai, were ordered closed.
India expanded its travel and visa restrictions on Monday, banning passengers travelling from member countries of the European Union, the European Free Trade Association, Turkey and the United Kingdom.
Authorities in India and the wider South Asian region have struggled to get travellers to self-isolate, or stay quarantined in medical facilities that many visitors view as poor and unhygienic.
At least 38 Afghans, who had recently returned from Iran and were being kept in isolation, escaped from a quarantine facility in western Afghanistan on Monday after breaking windows and attacking hospital staff, reports ANI.

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