The government of India will close the iconic Taj Mahal with effect from Tuesday in a bid to combat the spread of coronavirus, the officials said.

Tourism Minister Prahlad Patel tweeted late on Monday “All ticketed monuments and all other museums have been directed to be closed until March 31.”

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the monument attracted more than seven million visitors last year, according to reports.

This comes as India prohibited the travel of passengers from Afghanistan and two other countries as part of measures to try and combat the coronavirus pandemic.

“Travel of passengers from Afghanistan, Philippines, Malaysia to India is prohibited with immediate effect. No flight shall take off from these countries to India after 1500 hours Indian Standard Time (IST),” according to an official statement released by government of India.

The statement further added “This instruction is a temporary measure and shall be in force till 31st March 2020 and will be reviewed subsequently.”

The Ministry of Health of India has confirmed that the authorities have recorded 103 positive cases of coronavirus across the country, including 22 foreign nationals.

The coronavirus has so far killed two people in Delhi and Karnataka States, the Ministry of Health of India added.

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