Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 15 July 2020

Coronavirus: Jordan health minister warns of second wave

Saad Jaber dropped his triumphant tone after announcing the end of the contagion in the kingdom on Sunday

People sit at an Amman restaurant that reopened to the public on June 6 as Jordan lifted strict coronavirus restrictions after more than two months. Jordan raised $1.75 billion through a double tranche eurobond. EPA
People sit at an Amman restaurant that reopened to the public on June 6 as Jordan lifted strict coronavirus restrictions after more than two months. Jordan raised $1.75 billion through a double tranche eurobond. EPA

Jordan’s health minister backtracked after announcing the coronavirus outbreak in the kingdom was at an end this week, calling for vigilance against the possibility of a second wave of infections.

Saad Jaber told Al Mamlaka television on Sunday that the virus “has dried up and died in Jordan” and there was no longer “internal transmission".

His comments drew outrage on social media, with Jordanians saying he compromised efforts to convince people to adhere to social distancing and other containment measures.

On Monday, he said he was only simplifying “specialist medical and technical” terms.

“The start of a second wave in China and in many other countries in the world requires more caution and implementing precautionary health measures,” Mr Jaber told official media.

He said the authorities responded efficiently to the outbreak.

"This achievement needs to be preserved through wearing masks, adhering to social distancing, avoiding assembly, especially in closed areas, and personal hygiene and continued disinfection,” Mr Jaber said.

On Monday, the kingdom's health ministry announced seven new cases, including three Jordanians who came from Saudi Arabia and two non-Jordanian lorry drivers. The ministry provided no information about the remaining two cases.

Jordan’s government has officially confirmed 1,128 cases of the coronavirus and nine deaths.

Updated: June 30, 2020 03:27 PM

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