A senior Jordanian health official said on Sunday that the country has entered a third Covid-19 wave after infections reached 20,000 a week.
“Jordan entered the third wave,” Adel Al Belbeisi, the country’s top infectious diseases official, told state television.
Official infection rates have risen sharply in the past few weeks. But the government said it does not intend to reimpose curfews and other coronavirus measures.
It lifted most coronavirus restrictions in July, citing possible damage to the economy, which is in retreat. Unemployment is officially at a record high of 24 per cent.
Mr Belbeisi said recorded infections in the week that ended on Saturday rose by 5,000 over the week before, to 20,000. Eight per cent of those who took PCR tests tested positive for the coronavirus, he said.
He called for “commitment to social distances and precautionary measures” and more vaccination.
A second Covid-19 wave hit Jordan in the second quarter of this year.
Government spokesman Faisal Al Shboul said on Sunday that the government intends to issue new regulations in days to “confront the pandemic condition in the country, which has been on the rise”.
He said that from the start of next year, anyone aged above 18 who wants to enter any shop or government department must have received at least two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine.
Currently, 3.6 million people in Jordan fall into this category.
A teacher at a private school in Amman, who is vaccinated, said that several primary classes at his school closed in the past week as infections among pupils spread.
“I hope to make it to the mid-semester break safely,” he said.
The kingdom’s population is 10 million people and the Health Ministry says it has the capacity to administer 100,000 vaccine doses a day. Anyone aged 18 or above is eligible for the shot.
The Health Ministry announced on Sunday 14 new deaths from Covid-19, bringing the number of deaths officially registered as being caused by the pandemic to 11,361.
On Sunday, the ministry recorded 3,579 infections, bringing the total number of recorded infections to 914,849.