Calls mount in Jordan for adherence to COVID norms

Amman: Calls mount in Jordan for the public to adhere to the health precautionary measures, as the total tally of COVID-19 infections in the kingdom has exceeded 1 million amid the rapid spread of the Omicron variant.

Experts called for more stringent regulations that oblige the public to receive vaccines, wear masks, and maintain social distancing, warning that a continuous surge in cases could lead to undesired closures and limited economic and social activities, reports Xinhua news agency.

Jordan reported 2,239 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, taking the caseload to 1,047,953. Notably, the kingdom also reported 14 Omicron cases.

“Cases have been skyrocketing over the past few months, The public does not follow the health measures seriously. At the same time, lack of proper enforcement of the regulations may exacerbate the situation,” Saeb Rawashdeh, a political analyst at the Jordan Press Foundation, told Xinhua.

According to the government, the public is not allowed to enter commercial centres, malls, public and private agencies without showing their vaccination certification or a negative PCR result.

However, people are getting lax as time goes by, said Rawashdeh.

The government announced on Thursday that it will tighten health measures. Under the new measures, people are required to provide the certificate of two-dose vaccination and a negative PCR result valid for 48 hours to attend the New Year’s celebrations.

Hosam Ayesh, a local economist, said Jordan’s economy has been deeply affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting government’s closures over the past months.

Jordan’s economy grew by 3.2 per cent in the first half of 2021.

Unemployment  in the second quarter reached 24.8 per cent, up 1.9 per cent from the same period in 2020, according to figures by the Department of Statistics.

“For a more resilient economy, it is important to meet the targeted rate of vaccinated people,” he noted.