Strict movement curbs in Jordan to halt virus spread

A laborer sprays disinfectant in Jordan’s archaeological city of Petra south of the capital Amman to prevent the spread of coronavirus on Tuesday. (AFP)
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Updated 18 March 2020

Strict movement curbs in Jordan to halt virus spread

  • Jordan announced that 4,700 people, mostly Jordanians, who recently arrived from abroad are under a 14-day quarantine, with most of them in hotels in Amman and the Dead Sea area

AMMAN: Jordan took extraordinary steps to restrict movement of people in an attempt to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
A government directive ordered the closure of all non-essential organizations and institutions, and the limit of travel to essential services. Travel within districts will be restricted except for those on important humanitarian work.
The directive, announced by Amjad Adaileh, minister of state for media affairs, also noted that exceptions would be decided by the prime minister. A government spokesperson told Arab News that the decisions taken were based on pre-existing laws, with legal experts hesitant to support special emergency laws to justify them.
A military communique also stated that army units would be placed outside major cities to ensure that only essential travel was permitted. Medical personnel, the media and other essential workers are exempt on condition of showing proper identification.
Jordan also announced that 4,700 people, mostly Jordanians, who recently arrived from abroad are under a 14-day quarantine, with most of them in hotels in Amman and the Dead Sea area. The number of people affected by the virus in the country stands at 35.
One person has been declared to have recovered, according to the Ministry of Health. Among those with the virus are six people from the Irbid district who attended a wedding, including the groom and his father, who had traveled from Spain five days earlier.

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The Baptist convention in Jordan has made a newly built school in Zarqa available for the government to use.

The JETT national bus company announced that it was putting all its transportation fleet at the service of the government. Amman also announced that 550,000 Jordanian dollars ($775,00) had been donated by major companies, including the Arab Potash Company, the Housing Bank, the Jordanian Petrol Refinery Company and the Jordan Chamber of Commerce towards fighting the virus.
The Baptist Convention in Jordan has also made a newly built school in Zarqa available for the government to use after Rev. Suheil Madanat, head of the Jordan Baptist Convention, sent a letter to Prime Minister Omar Razzaz.
Rev. Nabeeh Abbasi, member of the Jordan Evangelical Council representing Baptists, told Arab News that the decision was done as part of the church’s social responsibility. “Our faith and our desire to be an active supporter of our country’s national needs let us put all our resources and assets in the service of our people and we pray to the Almighty to protect Jordan.”


Yemen’s terrifying, severely damaged road to Taiz on brink of collapse

Vehicles are pictured on a damaged road, the only travel route between Yemen’s cities of Taiz and Aden. Yemen has been left in ruins by six years of war, where over 24 million people are in need of aid and protection. (AFP)
Updated 26 September 2020

Yemen’s terrifying, severely damaged road to Taiz on brink of collapse

  • Convoys of vehicles big and small move at a snail’s pace as they squeeze past each other on the narrow road that has been severely damaged over the years by heavy rainfall

TAIZ: Lorries filled to the brim with goods labor up and down the dangerously winding and precipitous road of Hayjat Al-Abed, the mountainous lifeline to Yemen’s third largest city.
Unlike all other routes linking southwest Taiz to the rest of the war-torn country, the road — with its dizzying drop-offs into the valley below — is the only one that has not fallen into the hands of the Houthi rebels.
Some 500,000 inhabitants of the city, which is besieged by the Iran-backed Houthis, depend on the 7-km stretch of crater-filled road for survival, as the long conflict between the insurgents and the government shows no signs of abating.
Convoys of vehicles big and small move at a snail’s pace as they squeeze past each other on the narrow road that has been severely damaged over the years by heavy rainfall.
“As you can see, it is full of potholes, and we face dangerous slopes,” Marwan Al-Makhtary, a young truck driver, told AFP. “Sometimes trucks can no longer move forward, so they stop and roll back.”
Makhtary said nothing was being done to fix the road, and fears are mounting that the inexorable deterioration will ultimately bring the supply of goods to a halt.
Dozens of Taiz residents on Tuesday urged the government to take action, forming a human chain along the road — some of them carrying signs saying: “Save Taiz’s Lifeline.”

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500,000 inhabitants of Taiz, which is besieged by the Iran-backed Houthis, depend on the 7-km stretch of crater-filled road for survival.

“We demand the legitimate government and local administration accelerate efforts to maintain and fix the road,” said one of the protesters, Abdeljaber Numan.
“This is the only road that connects Taiz with the outside world, and the blocking of this artery would threaten the city.”
Sultan Al-Dahbaly, who is responsible for road maintenance in the local administration, said the closure of the road would represent a “humanitarian disaster” in a country already in crisis and where the majority of the population is dependent on aid.
“It is considered a lifeline of the city of Taiz, and it must be serviced as soon as possible because about 5 million people (in the province) would be affected,” he told AFP.

Humanitarian aid
Meanwhile, Yemen’s president on Thursday urged his government’s rival, the Iran-backed Houthi rebels, to stop impeding the flow of urgently needed humanitarian aid following a warning from the UN humanitarian chief last week that “the specter of famine” has returned to the conflict-torn country.
President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi’s plea came in a prerecorded speech to the UN General Assembly’s ministerial meeting being held virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It aired more than a week after Human Rights Watch warned that all sides in Yemen’s conflict were interfering with the arrival of food, health care supplies, water and sanitation support.