CNA Staff, Mar 30, 2020 / 02:30 pm (CNA).- The Church of the Holy Sepulchre was closed last week and has no definite timeline for reopening. This is the first time in nearly 700 years the holy site has closed for an extended period due to disease.
The church building, which houses the tomb of Christ and the site of the crucifixion, was first closed to pilgrims and other visitors on Wednesday, March 25. Initially, the closure was only expected to last for one week, but religious and Israeli government officials agreed that due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the global pilgrimage destination should not reopen.
Factories in Syria are producing a drug aggressively promoted by President Trump as a possible "game-changer" in the fight against COVID-19, despite a lack of evidence that it can cure the disease.
The Challenges Of Preparing For Coronavirus In Syria
Three Syrian pharmaceutical companies are producing hydroxychloroquine, as well as the antibiotic azithromycin — and other drugs that are still being tested — to combat the illness, according to the World Health Organization representative in Syria.
"Hydroxychloroquine is included in the [Syrian] national case management guidelines for COVID-19, even though there is no evidence that it offers any positive outcome in the treatment of COVID-19," Dr. Akjemal Magtymova tells NPR via email.