Jordan releases travelers quarantined at Dead Sea hotels

Jordan imposed a round-the-clock curfew for three days, before providing limited times for people to shop for basic goods on foot. (Reuters)
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Updated 30 March 2020

Jordan releases travelers quarantined at Dead Sea hotels

  • More than 4,200 Jordanians and 1,500 foreigners have been held at the hotels
  • Jordan has reported 259 infections and three deaths from the COVID-19 illness caused by the virus

AMMAN, Jordan: Jordan on Monday began releasing thousands of travelers who were quarantined for the last two weeks at five-star hotels on the Dead Sea in order to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.
More than 4,200 Jordanians and 1,500 foreigners have been held at the hotels. The Jordanians will be sent home via Uber, the popular ride-hailing service, and are requested to remain at home for another 14 days.
Travelers with other nationalities will be released on Tuesday. It was not immediately clear where they would go, but authorities said they would be in contact with their embassies and the Foreign Ministry.
Jordan has reported 259 infections and three deaths from the COVID-19 illness caused by the virus. At least 18 people have recovered.
The virus causes mild symptoms, including fever and cough, in most patients, who recover within a few weeks. But it is highly contagious and can be spread by people showing no symptoms. It can also cause severe illness and death, particularly in older patients or those with underlying health problems.
The virus has infected more than 720,000 people worldwide, causing more than 34,000 deaths, according to data gathered by Johns Hopkins University. More than 150,000 have recovered.
Jordan halted all flights and closed its borders on March 16. It later imposed a round-the-clock curfew for three days, before providing limited times for people to shop for basic goods on foot.


Pompeo offers help in call to Lebanon PM

Updated 37 min 31 sec ago

Pompeo offers help in call to Lebanon PM

  • US defense secretary meanwhile played down President Donald Trump’s suggestion that the explosion was a bomb
  • Pompeo did not describe how the United States would help Lebanon

WASHINGTON: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo offered assistance to Lebanon Wednesday after the massive explosion that leveled a huge section of Beirut and left at least 113 dead.
A day after the explosion in the Lebanese capital’s port, US Defense Secretary Mark Esper meanwhile played down President Donald Trump’s suggestion that it was a bomb, supporting instead Lebanese official accounts that it came from 2,750 tons of a volatile fertilizer ingredient, ammonium nitrate, stored in warehouse.
“I’m still getting information on what happened,” Esper told the Aspen Security Forum.
“Most believe that it was an accident as reported,” he said.
In a call with Lebanon’s Prime Minister Hassan Diab, Pompeo voiced “our steadfast commitment to assist the Lebanese people as they cope with the aftermath of this terrifying event,” a State Department statement said.
He “further stressed our solidarity with and support for the Lebanese people as they strive for the dignity, prosperity and security they deserve.”
The State Department only referred to a “horrible explosion,” despite Trump’s claim Tuesday that unnamed US generals indicated to him that “It was a bomb of some kind, yes.”
The Pentagon would not confirm Trump’s account.
Pompeo did not describe how the United States would help Lebanon, which was already in a deep economic crisis and seeking more than $20 billion in external funding.
The United States has been hesitant about supporting an aid package from the International Monetary Fund, insisting on reforms and the exclusion of Hezbollah, the pro-Iranian Lebanese militia and political party.