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Jordan records first death due to COVID-19 in Amman as cases jump to 246 over weekend

18 people have recovered and were released from hospital, Jaber says

By JT - Mar 28,2020 - Last updated at Mar 28,2020

Minister of Health Saad Jaber speaks during a press briefing broadcast live from the National Centre for Security and Crisis Management on Saturday (Petra photo)

AMMAN — An 83-year-old woman has died from the coronavirus, the first death due to COVID-19 in the Kingdom, Director of Prince Hamzah Hospital Abdulrazzaq Khushman announced on Saturday.

Khushman said that the woman had suffered from blood poisoning and other health problems before contracting the virus, adding that she had been transferred from a private hospital to Prince Hamzah Hospital, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

Jordan recorded 23 coronavirus cases on Friday and 11 cases on Saturday, bringing the total number of cases in the Kingdom to 246, Health Minister Saad Jaber said during press briefings over the weekend.

During a press briefing at the National Centre for Security and Crisis Management on Friday, the minister said that among the new cases are eight residents of an apartment building in Amman, five people from Irbid and two people who travelled to Jordan from the US and were already in quarantine, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

Jaber added that the new cases also include one person who arrived from Pakistan, a Lebanese national, two people whose source of infection is still unknown and three family members who were in contact with their infected father, who had come from Saudi Arabia.

Regarding a rumour about a doctor infecting hundreds of his patients, Jaber noted that a doctor has tested positive for the virus, confirming that 40 people who were in direct contact with him tested negative.

He urged anyone who believes they are infected or is experiencing symptoms to be tested, describing any citizen who takes the initiative to be tested as a "hero".

During a press briefing broadcast live from the National Centre for Security and Crisis Management on Saturday, Jaber said that among the 11 new cases confirmed that day were five from Irbid, one who was in contact with a confirmed patient, one who was in contact with her daughter who arrived from Norway and three people who were quarantined in hotels, including two people who arrived in the Kingdom from the UK and one from Baghdad.

“Specialised teams are currently investigating the infection source of the 11th case,” the minister said.

He also noted that a total of 18 individuals have left hospitals after their recovery from COVID-19 was confirmed, including 17 from Prince Hamzah Hospital and one from the King Abdullah University Hospital.

There are currently three cases who are in critical condition, Jaber added.

The minister said that people who are quarantined in Amman and Dead Sea hotels are expected to leave on Monday morning and will place themselves under a two-week home quarantine, warning that relatives and friends should not visit them during the 14-day period.

While in home quarantine, the people who leave quarantine centres at the hotels are required to call the ministry if they experience any symptoms according to international protocol, he stressed.

Jaber noted that the ministry has increased the number of investigation teams in Irbid to 25, adding that the number of lab testing devices has increased “remarkably”.

Some hotspots for the virus have emerged in Amman, the minister said, noting that if the number of infections increases, security bodies will be asked to isolate these areas to test residents and those who have been in contact with them.

“We will not rest before the number of cases reaches zero for several days so that we can defeat this pandemic,” Jaber stressed.

He also said that His Majesty King Abdullah is following closely all efforts exerted to combat the coronavirus and supporting efforts to secure needed materials for the Health Ministry.

Also speaking at the press briefing on Saturday, Minister of State for Media Affairs Amjad Adaileh emphasised that the drop in newly recorded cases “does not mean that the risk is over”, urging the public to continue observing the curfew and following the precautionary measures announced by the government.

“Lifting the curfew depends on citizens and their awareness and commitment to the regulations urging them not to interact with other people,” Adaileh said.

The minister also pointed to the “good flow” of commodities, highlighting the start of the delivery services on Saturday and the drop in the number of complaints about high prices, which “reflects the proper government procedures in dealing with such issues”.



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