Bethlehem Wisam Hashlamoun/Flash 90

The Palestinian Authority (PA) “ministry of health” said on Saturday that the number of people who have been infected with the Coronavirus in the Bethlehem district has risen to 19.

Three people who came in contact with the infected cases at Angel Hotel in Bethlehem were tested positive and placed in quarantine, said the ministry, according to the PA’s official Wafa news agency.

It said tests were conducted so far on 500 people suspected of contracting the disease but all turned out negative.

On Thursday, PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas announced a month-long state of emergency after the first seven cases were identified.

The Israeli defense ministry announced it had imposed emergency measures on Bethlehem, with everybody "forbidden from entering or leaving the city".

It added that the lockdown had been imposed "in coordination with the Palestinian Authority".