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Mexico's Guadalupe pilgrimage goes virtual

The Basilica of our Lady of Guadalupe is the most visited Catholic shrine in the Americas.

It draws millions of pilgrims every year to arrive on their knees to pray to the Virgin of Guadalupe.

But on Monday, Mexican church and civic leaders canceled the annual gathering that takes place on December 12.

The feast day of the Virgin of Guadalupe typically features lavish pageantry at her namesake basilica, built in the 18th century, but this year, the church's doors will be closed and barriers erected to block possible gatherers from entering and instead, the event will take place online as the coronavirus outbreak intensifies in Mexico

The country ranks eleventh in total number of confirmed cases globally and is fourth in the total number of deaths, which surpassed 100,000 last week.

Claudia Sheinbaum is the mayor of Mexico City:

"We believe that this information will prevent people from coming to the Basilica this year and we hope that very soon a vaccine will be here and that next year we can celebrate doubly at the Basilica."

The Basilica's closure will run from December 10 through December 13.