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.
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.”