Today: Monday, 27 May 2024 year

Jordan locks down border town over surge in virus cases

Jordan locks down border town over surge in virus cases

Jordan’s health authorities advised to seal off a city near the Syrian border from Monday following a surge in COVID-19 cases. Following reports on the largest daily rise in four months in novel infections, Ramtha city, near the Syrian border, will be isolated from Monday.

The Jordanian authorities decided to isolate the northern Ramtha city from Aug 17. As a preventive measure, the authorities are also re-imposing restrictions on movement in the first such reversal of a provincial area since relaxing a nationwide lockdown last June.

The health ministry said half of the 39 cases recorded in the past 24 hours were from Ramtha city. Officials say lorry drivers and people entering the country from the Jaber border crossing with Syria are spreading the COVID-19.

Over the months, Jordan has the lowest infection figures in the region. In general, the kingdom has reported 1,378 cases and 11 deaths from corona. However, the spread of novel infection from Syria prompted Jordan last Wednesday to impose a week-long closure of the Jaber border crossing, a trade artery for Syrian and Lebanese transit goods to the Gulf and Iraq.

Jordan PM announced the new restriction due to COVID’s new wave

Omar al Razzaz, the Jordanian prime minister, said on Sunday that tougher measures at Jaber would be imposed in the next few days given the surging infections in neighbouring nations and complacency in applying social distancing and health safeguards.

“We don’t want, God forbid, to have a second wave,” Mr Razzaz said.

In addition, increased testing should help the Jordanian authorities to keep control on the novel pathogen spreading, PM said. The kingdom also would increase the number of caravans to house hundreds of lorry drivers and Jordanians arriving from Syria who are put under quarantine.

Over the months, Syria has witnessed an alarming increase in the spread of the COVID-19 in the past two weeks, WHO officials confirm.

On Sunday, both king and queen have inaugurated the new Emergency Hospital affiliated with Al Bashir Public Hospital. The royals also visited the oncology ward recently revamped through the voluntary Himmetna initiative.