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Utmost diligence needed to curb coronavirus

Mar 02,2020 - Last updated at Mar 02,2020

On Monday, Jordan confirmed its first case of the novel coronavirus after a citizen in his 30s, who recently returned from Italy, tested positive.

The citizen was held in a quarantine centre for days prior to being transferred to the epidemic isolation ward at Prince Hamzah Hospital, according to Health Minister Saad Jaber, who added that the citizen arrived in the Kingdom a fortnight ago.

Since the outbreak of the deadly virus in China and subsequently across the world, Jordan has been amping up all precautionary efforts and strategies to combat a potential spread of the virus, also known as COVID-19, within its borders.

Prior to the announcement of the Kingdom’s first case, Prime Minister Omar Razzaz had said that Jordan was doing its best and was prepared for the “worst case scenarios”.

In light of the potential of the virus becoming a pandemic, maintaining personal hygiene, while avoiding certain social behaviours such as hugging and kissing, has become increasingly important.

Although as of now no vaccine has been developed for the virus, several recent studies have shown that many of those who are infected by the virus tend to have mild symptoms, or may be asymptomatic.

Health entities should keep a close eye on virus-related developments, remain transparent in clarifying the situation to the public and intensify campaigns aimed at raising awareness on precautionary measures that can be taken by the public.

The health minister said that if the number of coronavirus cases reaches 20, schools will be closed. Though this is a step in the right direction, before the threshold is reached, it is of critical importance to embark on campaigns aimed at ensuring the cleanliness of schools and public places.

The first confirmed case of coronavirus in Jordan is not an end-of-the-world scenario, as stated by Media Minister Amjad Adaileh. 

The Health Ministry has been working diligently and its role should be appreciated.

Transparency and coordination at this stage are also of paramount importance to prevent the spread of rumours or panic among the public as well as to preserve the privacy of those affected.

Increased efforts should be put in place to combat the spread of the fake news epidemic coinciding with this deadly virus outbreak

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