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'Gov’t will not hesitate to take painful but effective measures in virus fight'

Jordan sees 32 COVID-19 deaths, 2,423 virus cases in highest daily tally

By Maram Kayed - Oct 15,2020 - Last updated at Oct 15,2020

In this image grab taken from a video posted on the Prime Ministry’s Facebook page, Prime Minister Bisher Al Khasawneh is seen briefing the media at the Prime Ministry on Wednesday, accompanied by Health Minister Nathir Obeidat and Minister of State for Media Affairs Ali Al Ayed

AMMAN — Prime Minister Bisher Al Khasawneh on Wednesday said that the government in its fight against the coronavirus pandemic “would make well-considered and science-based decisions even if such measures were difficult and painful". 

Speaking during a press conference that was broadcast live from the Prime Ministry, the premier added that "this government will be a task-oriented open government and provide the media with full and precise information".

The prime minister announced the formation of a new centre dedicated to address the current pandemic, which will also tackle viruses and communicable diseases and any health threats that may arise in the future.

The Kingdom on Wednesday recorded 32 COVID-19 deaths and 2,423 coronavirus cases, including 2,411 local infections.

“A committee made up of distinctive health figures in the Kingdom has been chosen to draft the executive and legislative details of the centre,” Khasawneh added.

He pointed out that lockdowns on Fridays and Saturdays are "painful" to the public, but are “necessary” at times.

Khasawneh also announced the appointment of Wael Haiajneh in charge of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The prime minister noted that the citizen is the main partner in the fight against the pandemic through adhering to public safety and preventive measures.

Commenting on the recent revenge attack on a 16-year-old boy in Zarqa, the PM said the crime has shaken "the feelings of every Jordanian for its cruelty".

Authorities will deal with the crime in a “firm manner”, he said, stressing that the rule of law that is applied to all. 

Also speaking during the briefing, Minister of Health Nathir Obeidat said that the new centre is a “good response to His Majesty’s wishes of combating the virus swiftly and effectively”, noting that the centre’s tasks and responsibilities will be announced within weeks.

The minister said that COVID-related deaths in the Kingdom are “not high and almost constitute 1 per cent of the total number of infections”.

Obeidat added that Jordan has a “strong” health system and the government seeks to increase its capabilities, noting that 45 to 50 per cent of cases are not symptomatic and that “our numbers are not a source of panic” despite the increase.

“Without partnership with citizens, the results in dealing with the coronavirus will not be as “we want”.

Minister of State for Media Affairs Ali Ayed said that the government has no intention to impose any comprehensive curfew for a long time, noting that the government will continue the full lockdown on Fridays and Saturdays, stressing that the situation depends on the public’s commitment.

Ayed said that the government is scheduled to hold a weekly press breifing on every Wednesday to acquaint the public about the epidemiological situation in the Kingdom.  

Referring to citizens as “partners” in the fight  against the pandemic, Ayed said that the government “will not hesitate to present the citizens and the media with the precise information even if it is a difficult decision”.

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