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4th wave of COVID to reach peak by mid-February, warns top health official

15 deaths, 6,289 infections add to COVID tally; test positivity rate continues to rise

By JT - Jan 20,2022 - Last updated at Jan 20,2022

Adel Bilbeisi

AMMAN — The COVID-19 Omicron variant now accounts for 55 per cent of new infections, Adel Bilbeisi, secretary general at the Health Ministry for epidemiological affairs and the official in charge of the COVID-19 crisis, said on Thursday. 

Bilbeisi added that by Friday, the Kingdom is expected to have recorded a weekly caseload of about 26,000, which is, he said, “the highest in weeks”. 

He told the Jordan News Agency, Petra, that the fourth wave of the pandemic started two weeks ago and is expected to last for four to six weeks. 

Bilbeisi said he expects the infections to reach a peak in mid-February before the caseload starts a downward trajectory, describing the current virus-related admissions to hospitals as “limited and at comforting levels”. 

He added that only 597 cases are now receiving treatment at hospitals.

Meanwhile, 15 COVID-19 deaths and 6,289 virus cases were recorded in the Kingdom on Thursday, increasing the caseload to 1,123,686, the government announced.

The new fatalities took the Kingdom’s coronavirus death toll to 13,043, according to a joint statement issued by the Prime Ministry and the Ministry of Health.

The share of tests returning a positive result, known as the positive rate, stood at 17.40 per cent, while the daily death rate among COVID-19 patients was 0.2 per cent.

A total of 36,143 virus tests were also conducted on Thursday, bringing the cumulative number of coronavirus tests administered since the outbreak of the pandemic to 14,247,231, according to the statement.

The statement added that 2,930 recoveries were registered in hospitals and home quarantine on Thursday, expecting the total number of recoveries after finishing the 14-day quarantine period to stand at 1,070,710.

The statement added that there are currently 40,031 active COVID-19 cases in Jordan.

A total of 111 COVID-19 patients were admitted to hospitals on Thursday, taking the number of patients currently receiving care for COVID-19 in hospitals to 621, the statement said, adding that 71 recovered patients left hospitals.

On hospital capacities, the statement revealed that in the northern region the occupancy rate of isolation beds occupied by COVID-19 patients reached 8 per cent, ICU beds reached 31 per cent, while occupancy rate of ventilators stood at 16 per cent.

In the central region, isolation bed occupancy rate reached 16 per cent, 31 per cent for ICUs and 11 per cent for ventilators.

The statement added that the southern region registered an isolation bed occupancy rate of 6 per cent, 8 per cent for ICUs, and 6 per cent for ventilators.

The cases comprised 3,500 in Amman, 794 in Zarqa, 686 in Irbid, 460 in Balqa, 142 in Madaba, 141 in Jerash, 136 in Karak, 133 in Mafraq, 101 in Ramtha District, 87 in Ajloun, 51 in Aqaba, 43 in Maan, 15 in Tafileh, while no cases were reported in Petra District. 

The statement also added that the total number of people who received the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine has reached 4,537,909, while 4,141,236 have received their second jab.

The number of people who have registered on the vaccination platform has reached 4,818,620.

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