Jordan will suspend schools for two weeks from Thursday and close places of worship, restaurants and public markets as part of renewed restrictions after a record spike in coronavirus cases in the last few days.
All schools will switch to distant learning and suspend students’ attendence for two weeks starting Thursday, announced the Minister of Education, Tayseer Al-Nuaimi, on Monday due to covid 19 arise.
This decision includes all public, private, kindergartens, UNRWA and Military schools, he added.
A total of 75 students, 47 teachers, two employees and six clients have tested positive for COVID-19 in Jordanian schools —all of which have been infected by coming into contact with relatives that tested positive for coronavirus.
Parents can choose between distance education or in-school education for their children in first, second and third grade.
Mosques will Also shut down for a period of 14 days starting Thursday, announced the Minister of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs and Holy Places, Muhammad Al-Khalayleh, on Monday.
Besides Restaurants and cafes will not be allowed to operate, except for pickup and delivery, for a period of 14 days as of Thursday, due to overcrowding and lack of compliance with health and safety measures, the Minister of State for Media Affairs, Amjad al-Adaileh, on Monday.
Street Markets will shut down for two weeks starting Thursday, he added.
Curfew hours will be extended in the Ghor al-Safi area to start from 6pm until 6am, starting Tuesday.
These decisions came after an unexpected number of coronavirus cases and to eliminate the need for total lockdown.
The decision taken after a cabinet meeting came as the kingdom struggles to prevent the uncontrolled spread of the pandemic, government spokesman Amjad Adailah said and The announcement was made during a press briefing held at the Prime Ministry on Monday.
“We are living through exceptional circumstances,” Adailah said.
Health Minister Saad Jaber said the government was seeking to avoid the kind of tight nationwide lockdown imposed in the spring that brought the virus under control with low daily case numbers among a population of 10 million.
“These measures are harsh as they are, but we hope they will reduce infections and prevent a large outbreak that would lead to a total shutdown that would have catastrophic consequences,” Jaber said in televised remarks.
But restrictions were lifted in June and 2 million students went back to schools and international flights resumed this month, and infections have jumped since Friday to a new peak of more than 200 a day.
A total of 214 new COVID-19 cases have been recorded in Jordan on Monday, 204 of which are local cases, bringing the total number of cases since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis to 3,276.
Two new coronavirus death were reported in Jordan on Monday.A total of 49 recovery cases have been confirmed in Jordan on Monday.
A sum of 10,010 PCR tests have been conducted, bringing the total number of tests since the beginning coronavirus crisis to 989,579.
Prime Minister Omar al Razzaz said he hoped the country could avoid a total lockdown that the fragile, aid-dependent economy could ill afford. The economy is now expected to shrink around 5% this year, which would be the biggest contraction since 1990.
Officials blame large social gatherings and weddings, which are now banned, for the fast transmission of the virus and have enforced 14-day prison term for violators of the ban. Over 4,000 shops have been closed for breaching health rules on wearing face masks.
“The irresponsible behavior of some by having condolences gatherings and weddings has affected everyone,” Jaber said.
Thuswise the country will ramp up restrictions on social gatherings in the country, Minister of State Amjad Adaileh said, quashing rumors of a two-week blanket curfew.
Adaileh said the new restrictions include limiting operating capacity of public institutions and banning of hospital visits.
Organizers of events will be held accountable, Adaileh added, while urging government firms to conduct future meetings virtually.
The government also discussed plans to implement COVID-19-related mechanisms in the education sector to ensure the safety of students and school staff.
“The developments in the epidemiological situation and the unprecedented increase in the number of fatalities and infections requires from us all to be responsible and follow the utmost levels of caution to protect the homeland and its sons,” Adaileh said.
A nationwide crackdown began on Monday to ensure public cooperation amid the new restrictions.