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Jordan’s extraordinary measures to contain COVID-19 spread draw int’l accolades

By Maram Kayed - Apr 02,2020 - Last updated at Apr 02,2020

Jordan has imposed one of the most stringent measures in the region to curb the spread of the coronavirus, putting in place a nationwide curfew (Photo by Amjad Ghsoun)

AMMAN — Jordan’s measures to halt the spread of the novel coronavirus have drawn international recognition, with regional and international newspapers and TV channels praising how the country has managed to keep the virus “in check”.

KUNC, a public radio station in Northern Colorado, said that “one of the strictest lockdowns in the world has been in Jordan to avoid overloading the healthcare system”.

A Jordanian infectious disease specialist, Najwa Khuri-Bulos, told KUNC why it was important for the Kingdom to act quickly.

“There is a window period when you can interfere — and effectively. And it seems this is the window period when you still are having a slow incremental rise in cases. If you wait until you have that quick peak, you may have missed the boat,” said Khuri-Bulos.

Nasser Bin Nasser, the head of the Middle East Scientific Institute for Security, explained to the radio that the “government took drastic measures because people were still holding weddings and other big gatherings”.

“As for the economic toll for practically shutting down an already poor country, the government has calculated that if they didn't take these measures and the country was overwhelmed with cases, the cost in money and lives would be much higher,” Bin Nasser said.

The ABC aired a report comparing the US measures against Jordan’s measures, saying that while the US “changes seem drastic to us [US citizens], another country more than 6,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean is enforcing one of the world's strictest lockdowns.”

The report deemed Jordan as “having one of the most well-developed health sectors in the region,” but that “the global pandemic had sparked fears that refugees from Syria could quickly overload Jordan’s healthcare system”.

An article, headlined “Drastic, early action seems to keep a lid on Jordan's COVID-19 outbreak”, explained how “after just a few COVID-19 cases appeared around the country, the government took extraordinary measures” to enforce a strict curfew.

Describing how Jordan “has been probably ahead of everyone else in the region”, the article compared the Kingdom’s figures to its neighbours. Israel has more than 6,200 cases, Palestine has 155 cases, Saudi Arabia has 1,720 cases and Iraq more than 700 cases.

German Mayor Achim Engler wrote an article published in the German newspaper WochenSpiegel titled "Quick and rigorous: This is how the Jordanian government is reacting in these days of the corona pandemic,” in which he went on to describe the Kingdom’s “commendable” measures.

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