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Kingdom reports 14 new infections, one COVID-19 casualty as 11 patients recover

Total curfew takes hold at midnight; random testing to continue

By JT - Apr 09,2020 - Last updated at Apr 09,2020

Health Minister Saad Jaber speaks during a joint press briefing with Minister of State for Media Affairs Amjad Adaileh (not pictured) at the National Centre for Security and Crisis Management in Amman on Thursday (Petra photo)

AMMAN — Jordan has recorded 14 new cases of coronavirus infection, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 372, Health Minister Saad Jaber said on Thursday.

During a joint press briefing with Minister of State for Media Affairs Amjad Adaileh at the National Centre for Security and Crisis Management, Jaber also announced that a 69-year-old man who was being treated for the virus at Prince Hamzah Hospital died, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

A total of 11 patients tested positive for the coronavirus have recovered, he announced, nine of which were being treated at Prince Hamzah Hospital and two at King Abdullah University Hospital.

Among the 14 new cases are two people who contracted the virus from a family member, three people from one family who were also in contact with a family member with COVID-19 and one person who was in contact with their daughter, who was infectedwith the virus, he said.

The cases also include four individuals from another family, one of them of Ugandan nationality and all of whom were in contact with a family member who is receiving coronavirus treatment at Prince Hamzah Hospital.

The cases also included two people who are coworkers and whose source of infection is unknown, the minister said, adding that their contacts are being “thoroughly examined”.

The last case is a person who had come from Dubai and was quarantined at the Royal Medical Services for 14 days and tested positive for the virus.

Jaber announced that on Friday, random checks will begin in some east Amman neighbourhoods, while testing in the southern governorates will be completed on the same day.

He confirmed that the results of the random tests in Maan Governorate allcame back negative, adding that 50 samples taken in Aqaba were also negative.

Jaber said that private hospitals have a “clear” standard operating procedure (SOP) to deal with coronavirus cases, noting that, if a case appears, the hospital immediately informs the Ministry of Health.

"We immediately isolate contacts, sterilise the area, test contacts and quarantine them,” he said.

He continued: “If more than one case appears at the same hospital, like what happened in a private hospital in Amman when three cases appeared, others are prevented from entering, the hospital is sterilised and all workers are tested.”

Jaber stressed that, in the case of this hospital, no infections were detected from the testing procedures and all contacts of the patients will be quarantined.

He noted that this hospital will be sterilised on Friday so that it can return to operations on Saturday morning, stressing: "We cannot close all hospitals because they receive cases, but there are procedures in place for the safety of workers and patients.”

Also speaking during the briefing, Adaileh confirmed that the decision to impose a total curfew on Friday and Saturday across the Kingdom will start from Thursday midnight and will continue for 48 hours, until Saturday midnight.

The decision also applies to those carrying e-permits, Petra reported the minister as saying.

He mentioned that only medical personnel working in the public and private sectors, epidemiological inspection teams and a limited number of officials and staff of some vital institutions will be exempted from the total curfew, pointing out that the concerned institutions have identified the exempt persons and informed them directly.

He warned that the Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army and security entities deployed in the field will “deal firmly” with all those who violate instructions.

After the lockdown, the curfew will return to its current state, as of Sunday morning, allowing citizens to go out to purchase basic necessities on foot between 10am and 6pm.

Permitted vehicles will also be allowed to move in accordance with curfew instructions, he said.

Adaileh noted that the comprehensive curfew aims to preserve public safety and health and to enable epidemiological inspection teams to resume their work efficiently and effectively, as well as allow field teams to sterilise public spaces.

The government may repeat the comprehensive curfew as needed according to developments in the COVID-19 situation, he added.

Regarding rumours and false news circulating on social media platforms, Adaileh said that the government has monitored false rumours and news about alleged infections of people close to an official of a security entity, stressing that the relevant authorities have “flatly denied” these claims.

He warned of the legal repercussions of circulating any false information or rumours, stressing that the government is “sparing no efforts” to provide prompt and accurate information.



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