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Jordan’s ‘harsh’ anti-virus measures pay off — PM

By JT - Aug 04,2020 - Last updated at Aug 04,2020

AMMAN — The Kingdom has reached “the best-case scenario” in curbing the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, Prime Minister Omar Razzaz has said.

The Kingdom swiftly sealed its borders and imposed one of the “harshest lockdowns” in the world with the cooperation of Jordanians, Razzaz said in an interview with the British newspaper The Guardian.

Jordan is among a “lucky handful of countries”, including New Zealand and Thailand, that claim to have eliminated community transmission of the virus, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, quoted him as saying.

“We had a worst scenario, a medium scenario and a good scenario,” he said. 

“The small, resource-poor Middle Eastern Kingdom’s health system could absorb, at most, about 200 new coronavirus cases a day,” he said. 

An out-of-control outbreak would be expected to produce about 600 new infections requiring treatment, the charts showed, according to Razzaz. 

“So we really needed to avoid that worst scenario,” he added.

The Kingdom’ coronavirus death toll stands at 11 and is only reporting cases among new arrivals from overseas and medical staff treating them, according to the prime minister.

“It’s hard to maintain discipline when your numbers are zero, basically, inside the country. I was glad that in Jordan we stopped some social habits,” he said.

Staying sealed off until a vaccine is discovered is “not an option, especially that a vaccine is unlikely to be approved before the end of the year, and it would then need to be rolled out around the world”, he said.

Jordan has been “very reluctant” in reopening airports, considering the health risks associated with it, he said.

Stressing that the Kingdom is preparing for a possible second wave, he said: “We’re constantly asking when, not if, the next wave is going to hit. It would be foolish not to ask that question when you’re looking around in the region.”


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