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Officials call for keeping safe distance as bread distribution commences

By Bahaa Al Deen Al Nawas - Mar 24,2020 - Last updated at Mar 24,2020

AMMAN — As distribution of bread began on Tuesday, pictures and videos circulated on social media showed people overcrowding to purchase their needs, while others stood in queues keeping safe distance.

Bread delivery will be carried out on a daily basis so that all people can buy their needs, government officials told The Jordan Times on Tuesday, reiterating that crowdedness is one of the main causes behind spreading the new COVID-19 coronavirus.

“Under Royal directives, [wheat] supply should always be enough for no less than a year,” Bakery Owners Association President Abdul Ilah Hamawi told The Jordan Times earlier, noting that stocking is a “continuous process”, as supply is to be kept sufficient for a whole year at all times.

Officials highlighted that “this distribution experience is new to Jordan”, urging people to cooperate amongst each others to make it work. They also reassured the public that there is enough supply, noting that most bakeries received their permits and discussions are on going to produce gluten-free bread for people with gluten allergies.

Also on Tuesday, a video showed Prime Minister Omar Razzaz monitoring the mechanism of distributing bread to people.

“I was at home when I heard people gathering in the street and then saw a black minivan; there was a policeman, a driver and the person distributing the bread, all of whom were wearing face masks and gloves,” Mohammad Masri, who lives in Zarqa governorate, told The Jordan Times over the phone on Tuesday.

Police officers present made sure that people were keeping a safe distance of no less than a metre, Masri said, adding that “when it was my turn, a guy walked very close to me while on his phone, when a policeman immediately asked him to stand in line and keep a safe distance.”

The distributor gave no more than two bags per person to ensure everyone gets their needs, according to Masri, a father three children.

Speaking on Sawt Al Mamalaka TV programme, Minister of Labour Nidal Bataineh said that water and bread will be delivered by the Greater Amman Municipality’s vehicles and bottled water delivery trucks in Amman from 9am to 5pm, while the process will be carried out in other governorates via buses.

“We will reach each and every home, and gradually we will deliver other basic commodities,” he added.

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