Jordan closes five ministries amid surge in coronavirus cases

The country is likely to reach peak pandemic spread in mid-December, says former health minister

An amusement park is seen closed after the government re-closed many sectors amid fears over rising numbers of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in Amman, Jordan November 2, 2020. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed
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Five ministries closed their doors in Jordan on Tuesday after announcing new coronavirus infections among employees a day earlier.

The Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities suspended its working hours for Tuesday and Wednesday after new infections were reported.

The General Fatwa Department also announced the suspension of work for a period of 72 hours to administer coronavirus tests on its employees. They expect to resume work next Sunday.

The Ministry of Public Works and Housing, the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, The Ministry of Youth and the Ministry of Labour also suspended work for a period of 24 hours from Tuesday.

The head of the epidemiological assessment committee, Dr Saad Al Kharabsheh, predicted that Jordan would reach the peak stage of the pandemic in mid-December.

He told a Jordanian news channel that the country's health system was not well-equipped to deal with a pandemic and that the failure to find an effective mechanism to control it would spell major disaster for Jordan's welfare and economy.
Dr Kharabsheh emphasised the need to reduce mixing and social gatherings at this stage in order to flatten the curve.

Jordan jumped to the 19th spot worldwide for daily new infections, with 5,877 new cases recorded between Sunday evening and Monday evening.
Jordan was the only Arab nation on the list of 20 countries that recorded the most cases in 24 hours, and the second country in the Middle East behind Iran.