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Number of COVID-19 cases rises to 153 as Kingdom expands testing capabilities

Coming days to be ‘decisive’ in Jordan’s battle against coronavirus, Adaileh says

By JT - Mar 24,2020 - Last updated at Mar 24,2020

Minister of State for Media Affairs Amjad Adaileh speaks during a joint press briefing with Minister of Health Saad Jaber on Tuesday (Petra photo)

AMMAN — Minister of Health Saad Jaber said that the total number of coronavirus cases in Jordan has risen to 153 after 26 new cases were recorded on Tuesday.

Speaking during a joint press briefing with Minister of State for Media Affairs Amjad Adaileh at the National Centre for Security and Crisis Management on Tuesday, Jaber said that the new cases include 12 who were in contact with people who had already been infected and attended a wedding in Irbid.

Three individuals with newly confirmed infections arrived in Jordan from the UK, and one of them was isolated in one of the Kingdom’s hotels designated for quarantine.

Four of the new cases had come into contact with a coronavirus patient, and one Spanish national who arrived from Romania on March 10 also received positive test results, he added.

The new cases also include an individual who arrived from the US 10  days ago, as well as five cases who had come into contact with a patient who contracted the virus from a nurse working at Al Bashir Hospital.

This rise in confirmed cases reflects the Kingdom’s “growing testing capacity”, notably the increase in the number of tested people and the increase in the number ofinfection tracking teams, he said.

The increase “is still not severe”, but these figures suggest that more caution and stricter adherence to home isolation are needed.

Under Royal directives, the ministry has coordinated with the Kingdom’s medical bodies, including the Royal Medical Services, the Jordan University Hospital and private sector entities, to form teams to support the ministry’s efforts at Prince Hamzah Hospital.

King Abdullah University Hospital and the Health Ministry will carry out the mission in the northern region, the minister added.

“Tonight we received an additional 21,000 testing kits, and so the volume of testing to identify those infected will increase,” he said.

Also during the press briefing, Adaileh said that the Cabinet has approved a number of steps to improve the mechanism for delivering basic commodities during the government-imposed curfew, which will be announced by the prime minister later on Tuesday night.

Reviewing the first day of the government’s distribution of basic commodities, Adaileh said that the delivery of water and medications “went well”, with some pharmacies, drinking water shops and gas stations experiencing pressure.

Accordingly, he noted, meeting all demands “may take time”.

“While delivering bread, we found a number of errors,” he said, pledging to address the situation.

He noted, however, that some adhered to precautionary instructions, calling on the public to build on this “proper behaviour” to set an example.

The delivery of bread, drinking water and medications will continue over the coming days, he stressed, pledging to address any shortcomings through new means.

Adaileh also called on delivery service providers to observe health and safety regulations while interacting with the public.

“The coming days will be decisive for Jordan as the number of coronavirus cases is rising,” he said.

“We have to decide whether to contribute to eradicating the novel coronavirus or to pass the virus on to others through contact,” Adaileh added.

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