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25 Mar 2020 | 04:06 AM UTC

Jordan: Nationwide lockdown relaxed March 24 /update 8

Government relaxes lockdown restrictions to allow residents to purchase food and medicine March 24; further international spread of COVID-19 to be expected over near term

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JOR

Event

On Tuesday, March 24, the Jordanian government announced it would relax restrictions in the nationwide indefinite lockdown due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Citizens were previously unable to leave their homes for any reason, though as of Wednesday, March 25, they may leave their homes from 10:00 to 18:00 (local time) to go to grocery shops, bakeries, pharmacies, and corner shops, though on foot only.

Previously, the government implemented a nationwide ban on nonessential movement on Saturday, March 21. The army sealed the capital, Amman, off from the rest of the country on Thursday, March 19, and put its ten million residents on lockdown. Jordan's air, land, and sea borders have been closed to incoming and outgoing traffic since Tuesday, March 17.

As of March 25, there are 154 COVID-19 cases in Jordan. Further international spread of the virus is expected over the near term.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the general risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures: 

  • Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.