The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem is expected to witness tens of thousands of visitors and worshippers for the Easter holiday next month [Mussa Qawasma/Reuters]

The Church of the Nativity in the occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem, the site revered as the birthplace of Jesus, is to indefinitely shut down over the fears of coronavirus outbreak, Jeres Qumsiyeh, a church spokesman, said.

After four suspected cases were reported in a hotel in the city of Bethlehem by the AFP news agency, the Palestinian health ministry called for local churches, mosques and other institutions to close down until further notice.

The ministry had earlier announced that many suspected cases were detected at a hotel in the Bethlehem area, the first in the Palestinian

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