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Kingdom records 4 new coronavirus cases as 12 discharged from hospitals

By JT - Apr 07,2020 - Last updated at Apr 07,2020

Minister of Health Saad Jaber speaks at a joint press briefing at the National Centre for Security and Crisis Management on Tuesday (Petra photo)

AMMAN — Health Minister Saad Jaber on Tuesday announced that four new cases of coronavirus have been registered, increasing the total confirmed cases in the Kingdom to 353.

Speaking during a press briefing from the National Centre for Security and Crisis Management, Jaber said that the four cases were recorded in Amman, two of them who were in contact with individuals confirmed to have COVID-19 and two who contracted the virus from unknown sources, triggering intensive epidemiological efforts to discover the sources of their infections.

The minister noted that 12 people left hospitals on Tuesday, raising the total number of recovered patients to 138, with 209 patients still receiving treatment in hospitals.

Also speaking at the briefing, Minister of State for Media Affairs Amjad Adaileh said that the government teams and the crisis cell at the national centre consider all inquiries and notes they receive from institutions and the public.

Adaileh also said that the government is currently discussing important issues related to the continuity of education at schools and universities, final exams and work mechanisms during the holy month of Ramadan, as well as the salaries of private-sector employees, stressing that the government will announce all decisions once they are taken.

The government is also currently considering issues related to the gradual resumption of work in productive and service sectors after implementing precautionary measures to guarantee the health and safety of citizens, he noted. 

The minister called on all people who have tested positive for COVID-19, those who suspect themselves to be carrying the virus, quarantined persons and those who have come into contact with confirmed cases to commit to the Health Ministry’s regulations and call 193for any help.

In this regard, Adaileh said that anyone who conceals information about suspected infections will be held legally accountable.

Meanwhile, the minister refuted news on social media that the government will impose a comprehensive curfew forthree days as of Wednesday, adding that the government might later impose such a curfew to enable epidemiological investigations teams to implement their roles more efficiently.

Also during the briefing, Brig. Gen. Mazen Faraiah, director of operations at the centre’s crisis cell, said that five epidemiological investigation teams, out of a total of 15 teams in Amman, have been tasked with tracking possible cases among people who were in contact with confirmed cases in Marka’s Rabwah neighbourhood.

Faraiah said that 300 PCR  (polymerase chain reaction) tests have been conducted, noting that results are expected to be announced later in the evening or on Wednesday morning. Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army (JAF) personnel have isolated the area to ensure the safety of its residents, he added.

A building in Amman’s Dahiyat Al Rashid neighbourhood was announced as a “cluster”after several cases were confirmed in the building, which required Civil Defence Department and Greater Amman Municipality personnel to sterilise it and the surrounding areas, Faraiah said.

PCR tests on some 30 residents of the building will be conducted on Thursday to ensure that they do not carry the virus, the army official added.

Meanwhile, as a result of the sudden death of a person in Balqa who later turned out to have been infected, sterilisation processes have been launched in the area of his residence in the governorate, Faraiah said, adding that 112 PCR tests have been conducted on people who were in contact with him. 

He also noted that results in the southern governorates of the Kingdom are “promising”, given that random tests conducted there have come back negative.

As for isolating Irbid, he said that the decreasing number of infections in the northern governorate is a sign of the effectiveness of measures that the JAF took in the governorate, while the 25 epidemiological teams in Irbid are still active to track possible cases.

Faraiah said that teams nationwide have started conducting precautionary testing on workers in basic sectors, such as bakeries, suppliers of agricultural produce and water distribution shops.

The army official noted that there are 72 medical teams working across the Kingdom, calling on all citizens and residents to cooperate with them and facilitate their work.

He added that a total of 297 people have left quarantine in Amman hotels, while there are still 258 people quarantined in hotels in Amman, Aqaba, Petra and the Dead Sea area.

Earlier on Tuesday, during a press briefing at the Prime Ministry, Jaber disclosed the details of a coronavirus case reported on Monday that provoked uproar on media outlets.

On 26 March, 2020, the ministry was informed by a nurse working in a private hospital that a patient in the dialysis unit who suffered from a dry cough had tested positive for COVID-19, he said, while the patient was pronounced dead on the same day, the Jordan News Agency, Petra reported.

According to the nurse, the family of the deceased did not want to await the results of the test and buried him immediately, Jaber added.

A team from the Department of Infectious Diseases visited the home of the deceased and conducted tests on all residents in the building where he was living, including his family, who had been asked to isolate themselves in the building.

The results of the testing showed that the wife of the deceased man’s son was infected, the health minister said.

Noting that the family tried to evade the patient’s transfer to Prince Hamzah Hospital, Jaber said that the patient’s husband tried to question the ministry’s credibility. The Civil Defence Department managed to transfer the patient after telling her husband that his rejection would subject him to legal consequences.

According to the adopted protocol, the ministry also retested the building’s residents and discovered another seven cases in the same family, who have been admitted to Prince Hamzah Hospital as well, while the residential area has been isolated, the minister noted.

Commenting on the ministry’s decision to not announce the death as a coronavirus death, Jaber said that the report issued by the private hospital showed that the cause of death was chronic kidney failure.

In order to legally report the death as coronavirus-related, an autopsy should be performed. However, the deceased had already been buried, and because of that, “we did not announce it as a coronavirus death”, Jaber said.

The minister highlighted that epidemiological investigation, isolating suspected cases and quarantining patients is “a complex process that requires citizens’ cooperation and understanding”.  



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