Jordanian authorities announced that all of its borders will close effective Thursday, March 19, as of 07:00 (local time), until further notice due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The closure includes land and air travel. Exceptions will be made for cargo and those "authorized by the concerned authorities and known to the armed forces and security services, and according to the nature of the work."
Further, schools have been closed and daily prayers at mosques have been banned.
The Jordanian government also called for the closure of restaurants nationwide as of Tuesday, March 17, in efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country. With this measure, Minister of State for Media Affairs Amjad Adaileh stated that the government may implement defense law, which would restrict public gatherings and citizens' right to move freely, as well as the power to arrest those seen as undermining national security.
As of March 19, there are 56 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Jordan. Further international spread of the virus is expected over the near term.
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 (Hubei province, 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 the global outbreak 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.
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 risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with 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.