New Delhi: All centrally-protected monuments under the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) will continue to remain closed till May 31 due to a surge in COVID-19 cases, Union Culture Minister Prahlad Patel said on Wednesday.
An order to this effect was issued by the ASI and it was tweeted by Patel.
These monuments are currently closed for the public till May 15 by an earlier order.
"In continuation to the office order of April 15, 2021, all the centrally-protected monuments, sites and museums under the ASI shall continue to remain closed due to the present COVID-919 pandemic situation till May 31, 2021, or till further orders with immediate effect and till May 15 or until further orders," the ASI said it its order.
These include 3,693 monuments and 50 museums.
Last year, too, all monuments and sites maintained by the ASI were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic on March 17. They reopened in July with strict restrictions like mandatory wearing of masks, a cap on the number of visitors and social distancing.
The curbs were relaxed later in the year.
India saw a record rise in COVID-19 fatalities with 4,205 fresh fatalities taking the country's death toll to 2,54,197, while 3,48,421 new coronavirus infections were reported, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Wednesday.
The total tally of COVID-19 cases in the country now stands at 2,33,40,938.