Health Minister, Gov’t Spokesperson hold press briefing on COVID-19

Health Minister Saed Jaber on Tuesday said that the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of Tuesday afternoon reached 35, 9 of whom are of foreign nationalities, stressing that all of them were in good health and were not showing any severe symptoms.

In a joint press briefing with the State Minister for Media Affairs Amjad Adaileh, Jaber stated that the medical investigation teams are following up on those who came into contact with the infected cases.

Yesterday, over 4,700 persons were quarantined, most of whom entered the Kingdom from abroad, he said, adding that some logistical obstacles, including the provision of test kits and food, were resolved.

He pointed to the close cooperation between the Health Ministry and the Royal Medical Services and university hospitals.

The health minister stressed that the measures announced today aim at minimizing social contact amid the increasing number of cases, which requires implementing strong and strict procedures to limit and treat existing cases to slow the spread of the disease.

The Health Minister underscored that social responsibility entails adhering to the government’s instructions, pointing out that medical institutions will carry on work as usual to receive emergency cases only, adding that pharmacies and groceries will also stay open.

“Our future is in our hands,” he stated, urging the public to heed the government’s instructions.

He underscored that Jordan has taken strict measures early on, similar to some European countries and the United States, to curb the coronavirus spread, “a responsibility we all shoulder,” he stated.

Jaber also told reporters that, as of today, around 2,000 samples were tested, 36 of which were positive, while one case is now in recovery.

He affirmed that the percentage of infected cases is still small, but this matter should not be underestimated.

Over a month ago, the government had addressed public mass gatherings and called for following instructions, pointing out that a wedding held several days ago resulted in the infection of seven people.

On the measures announced today, Adaileh stated that the government aims to limit the number of citizens who leave their homes, except for emergencies, to protect them and ensure the safety of the society.

Public and private hospitals, pharmacies, bakeries, and groceries are excluded from these decisions and it will be business as usual for these, he reiterated.

Adaileh, who is also the government’s spokesperson, stated that media outlets will continue to operate with minimal staff, lauding their role in providing facts and information to citizens and obtaining news on COVID-19 from the official sources.

In response to a question on possible legal action against individuals who fail to heed the social distancing order, he underlined that the government is still working within the Civil Defense Council, Public Security and Public Health laws.

“We may invoke the Defense Law that allows the Prime Minister to take the decisions necessary to protect the society,” the state minister added.

On military patrols deployed at the entrances of cities, he said the government will halt travel between the governorates, underlining the need for a security presence so that “citizens may realize the government’s seriousness in enforcing the law and protecting society from the threat of the coronavirus.”

Source: Jordan News Agency