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Seven new coronavirus cases reported on Wednesday, 113 currently receiving treatment

Curfew hours eased during Ramadan to extend from 8am to 6pm

By JT - Apr 22,2020 - Last updated at Apr 22,2020

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

AMMAN — Seven new COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in the Kingdom, increasing the total number of cases to 435, Health Minister Saad Jaber said on Wednesday.

Speaking during a press briefing at the National Centre for Security and Crisis Management, the minister said that among the new cases are three truck drivers, including two Jordanians and an Arab national.

The cases also include two people who contracted the virus from a family member — a truck driver who recently entered the Kingdom — and an individual was in contact with a COVID-19 patient.

He added that the cases also include a patient who was tested at a private laboratory and contracted the virus from an unknown source, which has triggered intensive epidemiological efforts to discover the source of the infection. 

During the briefing, the minister noted that 113 patients are still receiving treatment in hospitals.

The ministry, in implementation of Royal directives, will make “every effort” to maximise coronavirus testing during the next few weeks, he said, noting that more than 2,500 tests were conducted on Wednesday, while the number of daily tests is expected to reach 5,000 in the near future.

He also urged the public to avoid using cash and utilise e-payment systems.

Also speaking during the press briefing, Minister of State for Media Affairs Amjad Adaileh announced that the government amended the curfew timing during the fasting month of Ramadan, to allow the public to leave their homes to purchase necessities from 8am until 6pm.

Adaileh said that the amendment of curfew instructions in the southern region will undergo assessment over the next two days and the government will resume tighter restrictions if violations are reported. 

He also warned that inspection committees will withdraw permits from any businesses or institutions that violate public health and safety instructions.

The government will also impose a 24-hour comprehensive curfew in all governorates on Friday, he said, noting that the decision also applies to permit holders but excludes medical personnel in the public and private sectors, epidemiological investigation teams and a “very limited number” of employees and officials responsible for vital work.

He announced that the government also decided to end the isolation of various areas in Irbid, including Soum Asshunnaq, Juhaifah, Edoun, Hussoun, Sarih, Habka and Al Mazzar Al Shamali as of Thursday.

According to the decision, residents of the northern governorate will be allowed to move on foot from 10am to 6pm. Irbid will continue to be isolated from the rest of the Kingdom, he said.

He added that the Education Ministry has announced that Tawjihi exams will be held at their scheduled time on July 1, unless health conditions and precautionary measures require a change in the timing.

The number of those who have receivedtemporary movement permits through the stayhome.jo platform totalled 180,000, including 100,000 for distributing or receiving salaries, 50,000 for medical purposes and humanitarian issues and 30,000 for workers.

About 2,000 restaurants have finished the requirements for delivery, he said, adding that delivery.mota.jo will openfor sweet shops to apply.

He also added that work is under way to organise the return of Jordanian students abroad in the coming days.

He also announced that there will be a change to press briefings, with briefings to be held after Cabinet meetings if any developments that need explanation take place. The timing of these briefings will be announced in advance.

The Health Ministry will provide updates on the coronavirus via press statements to be sent to media platforms.

Also, during the briefing, Minister of Industry, Trade and Supply Tareq Hammouri said that the ministry has cancelled the requirement for selling products only through electronic transactions and delivery for all sectors, including clothing and furniture businesses. Restaurants and pastry shops, however, will only be allowed to provide delivery services.

He also stressed that no establishment will be shut down for not registering with the Social Security Corporation (SSC) or for not activating e-payment services during the next week.

Also speaking during the briefing, Director General of the SSC Hazim Rahahleh said that 5,000 establishments applied to register with the corporation through the designated platform on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Meanwhile, 10,000 electronic applications have been submitted to the SSC by those looking to benefit from the provisions of Defence Order No. 9, which outlines a programme for protecting businesses, freelance workers and daily wage workers. 

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