Many people were surprised to hear that Mecca, the holy site of Islam, was closed by the Saudi government due to COVID-19. Now the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem has been closed due to the same reason after several workers were found to be infected with the illness according to the Christian Post.
The Palestinian Authority announced Thursday that the Church of the Nativity, a site revered by Christians as the birthplace of Jesus Christ, as well as all other tourism and archaeological sites in the West Bank, have been closed after at least seven hotel workers in Bethlehem were infected with the coronavirus by a group of Greek tourists.
Hours after the announcement, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas also declared a 30-day state of emergency.
“We have decided to declare a state of emergency in all Palestinian areas to confront the danger of the coronavirus and prevent it from spreading,” Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh said, reading from a decree from the president, Reuters reported. (source)
It is not good to see this happening, especially since other Catholic holy sites and places, such as the Shrine at Lourdes, has also been closed.
It will be interesting to see what effects this will have on the region.