View of Bethlehem
View of BethlehemiStock

Three new cases of coronavirus were discovered in the Bethlehem area on Tuesday, Palestinian Authority (PA) cabinet spokesman Ibrahim Milhem announced.

This brings the total number of confirmed cases in the PA to 44.

Milhem added that the three new cases are a man and two women, residents of the town of Beit Sahour which is located east of Bethlehem, who were supposed to be in isolation but did not obey directives to do so.

Bethlehem is the epicenter of the coronavirus in the PA, with the most cases being reported there. The deadly virus started to spread in the PA after a case was reported in a Greek tourist group that visited the city.

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

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