November 22, 2020

Bethlehem mayor says that due to coronavirus, this year’s Christmas celebrations will be virtual

categories : healthcare

BETHLEHEM, Saturday, November 21, 2020 (WAFA) – Due to the coronavirus pandemic that affects the entire world, including Palestine, this year’s Christmas celebration in the West Bank's biblical city of Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus Christ, will be held virtually, today said Bethlehem Mayor Anton Salman.

He told Palestine TV that since Bethlehem is currently one of the hardest-hit Palestinian cities with coronavirus with daily new cases exceeding 50, and in order not to jeopardize the lives of the public, it was decided that this year’s Christmas celebration will be virtual where people can just watch the events on their TV screens without the need to be at Manger Square for the midnight mass on Christmas Eve.

“We will celebrate Christmas this year virtually, from a distance,” he said. “We will not risk the lives of our people in order to be festive. Life and health of people are more important for us and gathering of people in the streets will increase the risk of infection,” he said.

Salman said there will be some sort of celebrations this year, which will be broadcast to the world, but that they will be held within strict health codes.

Hundreds of thousands of people from Palestine and around the world are normally present in Bethlehem during the Christmas holiday. However, due to the closure of airports around the world and the high number of infected cases, travel has been restricted and there are hardly any international visitors or pilgrims in Palestine this year.

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