Bethlehem shut down for 48 hours due to rise in coronavirus infections

Bethlehem will be temporarily closed for 48 hours following a spike in coronavirus cases in Palestine’s West Bank.

The city-wide closure will begin Monday from 6.00AM and will last for 48 hours, governor Kamil Hmeid said.

This announcement comes after West Bank cities of Hebron and Nablus were closed last week following a major rise in infection cases.

Hebron was closed for five days, and Nablus was shutdown for 48 hours.

Palestinian health ministers announced 67 new cases on Saturday, 33 of which were in the Bethlehem district.

The ministry has recorded a total of 1,552 virus cases in the West Bank, including two deaths.

The total number of coronavirus cases in the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem stands at 1,862, with 11 people in serious condition, including two on ventilators, said PA Health Minister Mai al-Kaila.

Like the West Bank, Israel has also recorded a recent surge in coronavirus cases.

Meanwhile, in the Gaza Strip, the Palestinian enclave blockaded by Israel, 72 people have tested positive for coronavirus, with one death.

Bethlehem, where Christians believe Christ was born, was initially put into lockdown in March, after recording the first coronavirus case in the West Bank.

Schools were closed and non-essential travel and activities were that month banned, as part of the efforts to tackle the virus.

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