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COVID-19 infections at King Hussein Cancer Centre raise fears

By Bahaa Al Deen Al Nawas - Aug 13,2020 - Last updated at Aug 13,2020

AMMAN — Two new COVID-19 infections were registered on Wednesday morning at the King Hussein Cancer Centre (KHCC), spurring further fears among businesses and citizens of a change in the epidemiological condition of the Kingdom.

The two new cases were registered among the KHCC's staff, the Jordan News Agency, Petra,  reported quoting Assistant Secretary General for Primary Healthcare at the Ministry of Health Adnan Ishaq as saying.

Ishaq said that the epidemiological investigation teams started looking for anyone who contacted the infected personnel in accordance with the followed protocols, especially in light of the centre's patients having low immunity. 

In an interview with Al Mamlaka TV, Ishaq also said that the latest infections registered in the past few days were due to people who contacted confirmed infections at the Jaber border crossing.

Minister of State for Media Affairs Amjad Adaileh said on Wednesday that situation is still under control, urging people to adhere to preventive measures to preserve public health and safety.

Adaileh also reiterated that the government is not going in the direction of imposing a partial or total lockdown due to the high costs, economically and socially.

"The economy will not bear any sort of lockdown and curfews, whatsoever," head of the Amman Chamber of Commerce Khalil Haj Tawfiq told The Jordan Times over the phone, commenting on the latest spike in cases.

The airport is closed and the borders are technically closed, so whatever the cause, the matter needs to be resolved without increasing curfew hours or having comprehensive lockdowns, he said.

"There are sectors being shutdown that are on the brink of bankruptcy and the working sectors have not recovered yet, with many in the danger of shutting down at any time," Haj Tawfiq said.

He also added that the Gulf guests and some expatriates have not returned to the Kingdom and the Eid season witnessed "unprecedented low sales".

"The very talk about a second wave and spreading fears of lockdown caused a drop in market as merchants expressed fears over what is coming, so imagine what would happen if an actual lockdown happened," he said, noting that the government must continue with its approach to avoid curfews and lockdowns.

After a long time with very few local cases, the Kingdom registered four cases on Saturday, five on Sunday, 14 on Monday and 13 on Tuesday, which resulted in the enforcement of the Defence Order No. 11 as of  Saturday, as well as imposing penalties on violators of public health and safety measures.

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