Coronavirus: Church of the Nativity closed after infected people visit site

Coronavirus: Church of the Nativity closed after infected people visit site

PanARMENIAN.Net - Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity, built on the site that Christians believe was the birthplace of Jesus, was closed on Thursday, March 5 after the first Palestinian cases of the deadly coronavirus were discovered, AFP reports.

Asbed Balian, senior cleric of the Armenian church at the Church of the Nativity, said infected visitors had entered the site.

"People affected by corona visited the church," he told AFP.

The Palestinian government announced a month-long state of emergency late Thursday after the seven cases were identified.

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh made a special broadcast late Thursday to announce the 30-day lockdown, saying the measures were essential to contain the disease.

All but essential travel between Palestinian governorates was now prohibited, while all schools and educational facilities would close, he said.

Photo: Getty Images
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