India removes cap on number of visitors at sites protected by federal gov't

The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) on Sunday announced removal of the cap on the number of visitors at its centrally protected monuments/sites.

The sound-and-light shows at these monuments/sites would also be resumed, said an official statement issued by the federal ministry of culture.

There are a total of 3,691 centrally protected monuments under the ASI.

The cap was put on the number of visitors in order to ensure social distancing in the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic spread.

However, the standard operating procedures (SOPs) announced in July, like sale of e-tickets only, social distancing among visitors, wearing of face-masks, regular sanitisation of the monuments/sites etc. would continue to remain in effect, added the statement.

"The total number of visitors to be allowed per day may be decided by the concerned Superintending Archaeologist at the site with the concurrence of the respective local authorities," the statement added further.

India has been one of the worst sufferers by the pandemic this year. So far there have been 10,031,223 COVID-19 cases across the country, even as 145,477 people have died so far.

However, there has been a decline in the number of COVID-19 cases in recent days. According to the data issued by the federal health ministry, the total active caseload has dropped to around 300,000, even as less than 40,000 new cases are recorded per day continuously over the past 21 days.

There are 10 states which account for nearly two-thirds of the total active cases in the country. 

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