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Moving ahead with lessons learned

Jan 02,2021 - Last updated at Jan 02,2021

The world welcomed a much-awaited New Year with high hopes after enduring a debilitating year of pandemic that claimed the lives of at least 1.7 million people, crippled the global economy and left millions jobless.

Jordan ushered in the New Year under the lockdown imposed on Fridays to curb the spread of the coronavirus, which has claimed the lives of 3,877 people in the Kingdom to date.

The government’s easing of curfew hours has brought little cheer for struggling businesses that have been calling for an end to lockdowns.

The government has announced a new set of measures for the new year, taking into consideration the presence of a much more infectious variant of the coronavirus. 

“Our initial plan was to reopen sectors and allow citizens and the economy to breathe, but with the new strain of the virus in the UK and the new wave of cases in the world, we were careful to balance between the health, social and economic aspects,” Minister of State for Media Affairs Ali Al Ayed said on Wednesday.

However, hopes are high for a return to pre-pandemic days as the government announced that it will roll out the recently approved COVID vaccines in the Kingdom at the end of this month or the start of February.

Health Minister Nathir Obeidat said that the vaccines will be distributed free of charge to citizens and foreign residents.

The future challenge lies in the launch of a mammoth vaccination campaign. The health minister said that the government has put in place a clear roadmap for the inoculation drive, and it brings a reason for hope. 

The health minister also noted that people will receive vaccination according to priority, starting with the elderly, people with chronic health conditions and frontline healthcare workers. 

The arrival of the vaccine, nonetheless, is no reason to relax the vigilance. The nation has to preserve the momentum in the anti-virus fight. Needless to say, it is of utmost importance for the public to strictly adhere to the cardinal rules of physical distancing and wearing facemasks.

As the Kingdom embarks on a new year, stimulating the national economy and employment, and reviving ailing sectors, undeniably top Jordan’s new year’s wishlist.

Taking stock of a fateful year would be incomplete without paying tribute to the invaluable efforts of Jordan’s frontline health workers and armed forces under the Kingdom’s leadership, which, with its steely determination, helped Jordan navigate through a tumultuous year. 

Jordanians’ unity, dedication and resolve are a source of confidence and strength in times of adversity, and as always, they stand united as a battle-hardened nation against an invisible enemy. 

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