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Industrialists urge gov’t not to issue nationwide lockdown

By Rana Husseini - Aug 11,2020 - Last updated at Aug 11,2020

AMMAN — Industrialists on Tuesday urged the government to refrain from issuing a new nationwide lockdown order as it would harm the economy.

"We cannot afford another lockdown because the situation is very hard on everyone and it will affect the employees and the owners of businesses and industries," Jordan Chamber of Industry President Fathi Jaghbir said.

He told The Jordan Times that, instead, the government should ensure that "these entities are abiding by strict health rules and regulations".

"There have been no reported COVID-19 incidents at factories or establishments and this is a good indication for everyone," Jaghbir added.

In mid-March, the government ordered a nationwide lockdown, which affected hundreds of businesses and employees, to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

On Monday, government officials said that 14 local infections were registered in the Kingdom, increasing the virus caseload to 1,268.

Several government officials gave statements to local media outlets related to the health condition, with some hinting that "the government might resort to ordering a new lockdown on certain industries and businesses if the health situation worsens".

"I believe these conflicting statements are causing confusion and panic among the public and I do believe that it is not in the interest of anyone to close down businesses and industries," Jaghbir stressed.

Jordan Association for Restaurants and Sweets Shops Owners President Omar Awad agreed with Jaghbir stating that closing down restaurants and food places will only make it more difficult on people.

"There are around 400,000 employees working at food establishments and they and their families have already suffered from the first closure in March," Awad told The Jordan Times.

Awad added that he hopes the "government studies all options very carefully and takes the right decisions that would not affect the well-being of its citizens".

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