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‘Relaxed restrictions do not mean curfew is over’

Media minister highlights continued rise in coronavirus cases, urges public caution

By JT - Mar 25,2020 - Last updated at Mar 25,2020

A resident shops at a neighbourhood market in Amman on Wednesday (Petra photo)

AMMAN — Although the public is displaying notable signs of relief due to the relaxed restrictions on shopping and the opening of small markets on Wednesday, the government is warning against letting this relief lead to negligence, as the number of COVID-19 cases in the Kingdom is still on the rise.

“We don’t want this state of relief to lead some members of society to exercise negative behaviour,” such as excessively leaving home or neglecting precautionary measures, said Minister of State for Media Affairs Amjad Adaileh.

“We are still in the midst of the crisis, and the number of infected cases is increasing, which does not call for relaxing, but rather pushes us to consider other strict measures,” the minister stressed.

Adaileh made these remarks during a press briefing held on Wednesday covering the latest developments of the novel coronavirus and the curfew in Jordan.

He highlighted that the new measures announced on Tuesday “do not signify the lifting of the curfew”, which will last until further notice. Instead, they allow citizens to secure their basic needs within short periods between 10am and 6pm.

His Majesty King Abdullah, in the presence of HRH Crown Prince Hussein, chaired a meeting to follow up on the pandemic’s latest updates, with King Abdullah directing the government to be transparent with citizens and acquaint them with government procedures, according to the minister.

During the briefing, which was broadcast live on Facebook, Adaileh noted that His Majesty called for adopting all procedures necessary to limit repercussions on the national economy and contribute to the recovery of the economy as a result of this crisis.

Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Omar Razzaz also headed a meeting in the presence of ministers and heads of security apparatuses to assess the commitment of citizens and the ability of stakeholders to provide basic services and commodities to the public, he said.

As for home delivery, Adaileh said that the government has decided to delay this service to give the National Epidemic Committee time to discuss it, with the aim of guaranteeing safety procedures and curbing infection.

Adaileh added that the prime minister has been paying field visits to the markets to follow up on the new procedures and assess them, as well as listen to citizens’ remarks and address any challenges that they may face.

In general, citizens were committed to public safety measures while securing their basic needs from the shops that were allowed to open on Wednesday, Adaileh said, pointing, however, to several incidents of violations against the government’s restrictions for using vehicles.

He reiterated the importance of citizens abstaining from using their vehicles, stressing that the Public Security Directorate (PSD) will seize any vehicle whose owner is not authorised to drive during the curfew.

As of 6pm on Wednesday, a total of 849 vehicles had been impounded for violating the curfew, according to the PSD’s spokesperson, the Jordan News Agency, Petra reported. 



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