The World – Jordan
Health Minister Saad Jaber said in a statement that the total number of confirmed cases in the country currently stands at 11816, in addition to 61 deaths since the first case appeared in early March.
The minister called on citizens to stay away from gatherings, events and celebrations that violate instructions, and to abide by the application of physical distancing, wearing masks and using sterilizers to protect themselves and their families.
Jordan was one of the countries in the region least affected by Corona in the months of the first pandemic, but this month it is registering daily numbers that are rising in an alarming way, as health officials say that the Kingdom is currently facing a local outbreak.
Government spokesman Amjad Al-Adayleh said that it may be forced to impose a comprehensive lockdown that would cripple daily activities and halt business if the “dangerous” increase in cases makes it difficult for health authorities to cope with the situation.
“It’s something no one wants,” he added.
The government has also tightened prison sentences of up to a year for anyone who organizes weddings or funerals and social gatherings with more than 20 attendees, in the latest measures aimed at imposing health guarantees.
The government decided to extend the continuing school closure for an additional two weeks for more than two million students, who resumed attendance for a short period at the beginning of the month after an absence of five months. However, places of worship will reopen from Thursday, along with restaurants, but with stricter health guarantees.
The government fears that the complete shutdown will deal a devastating blow to the aid-dependent economy, which is expected to shrink 6% this year, its first decline in decades, as unemployment and poverty have worsened as a result of the pandemic, as well as the potential for civil unrest.
Officials said that, as of today, they would implement a closure of the Al-Buqa camp on the outskirts of the capital, which is one of the largest Palestinian refugee camps in the Middle East and has more than 200,000 refugees, but it has recorded many infections.