PM highlights anti-COVID-19 measures

Prime Minister Omar Razzaz on Sunday said his government will this week announce an integrated Geographic Information-based system that will enable citizens to know the criteria and mechanism used to isolate areas or declare curfews or lockdowns.


In his weekly address to the nation, Razzaz also said the government will this week announce health standards and operating procedures to reactivate land, sea and air border crossings, which will help receive more Jordanian expatriates while preserving health standards, noting that the number of hotel rooms designated for institutional quarantine have been doubled to 12,000.


Highlighting the economic fallout from the pandemic, the prime minister said that there is an unprecedented and significant global economic downturn that has affected growth and unemployment rates in all countries, and Jordan is not an exception, stressing the need to work on economic stimulus programs, whether for sectors that have been hard hit or promising sectors.


Razzaz indicated that no one exactly knows when the COVID-19 pandemic will come to an end, saying: “In the beginning, experts expected it to be over in six months. But now many people are talking about two years, perhaps more, and therefore the whole world is preparing itself to coexist, cope with and adapt to this pandemic instead of trying to eliminate it in the short term.”


The prime minister pointed out that Jordan achieved better results in terms of incidence and mortality in the past seven months if compared with similarly-populated nations, stressing that “this should not be a justification for inaction, indulgence and complacency, but rather an incentive for more work until we pass through this stage of the pandemic.”


“The understanding that this pandemic will remain until further notice has contributed to a fundamental change in the criteria used to declare curfews, lockdowns, and isolation worldwide. Most countries of the world developed a matrix similar to the one we set, that is, at the level of the nation as a whole, transitioning from very dangerous (red) to orange, yellow and blue, and finally green, and with different details from one country to another, but it was at the state level,” the premier noted.


He emphasized that the whole world, as well as Jordan, had realized that shutting down the economy, restricting mobility and the locking down of all regions was not necessarily effective from a health and economic perspective.


With regard to the reopening of schools and the start of a new academic year on Tuesday, the prime minister pointed out the options are not limited to either the complete resumption of the educational process at all schools and for all students or the complete shutdown of schools and the use of distance education.


“We are watching what is happening in other countries of the world. The vast majority of countries have opened their schools or are planning to do so. However, there are very few, with a very high number of infections not comparable to Jordan, that will continue to employ distance education,” Razzaz indicated.


The prime minister assured that the distance education system is in place, but, he said, this mode of education can not be a substitute to the classroom-based education on the long run, adding that direct interaction between students and teachers is of paramount importance.


Razzaz said there are many schools that meet the set health safety protocols and education will resume as usual on September 1st, but he spoke of crowded schools where social distancing is not applicable. To that end, Razzaz added, the Ministry of Education has developed a set of models that take into account the school’s and the area’s needs and requirements.


Source: Jordan News Agency

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