Jordan’s cabinet takes preventive steps to combat coronavirus

AMMAN, The Jordanian government approved a set of rules on Saturday starting from next week to help in the fight against coronavirus, Covid-19.

In a statement, quoted by Jordan news agency (Petra), Prime Minister Omar Razzaz announced a new series of measures to deal with the coronavirus pandemic and protect the country and citizens in light of its rapid spread across the globe.

First, the education sector: Suspension of classes at education institutions (kindergartens, nurseries, schools, universities, colleges and training institutions and institutes) as of Sunday, March 15, 2020, for a period of two weeks.

The directors of education shall determine the working hours of Ministry of Education administrative staff according to the instructions issued in this regard.

The Ministry of Education will start implementing the distance learning plan through its e-learning platform as of next week, and the national TV channels starting this week.

In addition to its previous announcement about suspending flights to and from some countries as of Monday, March 16, 2020, all flights to and from the Kingdom will be suspended as of Tuesday, March 17, 2020, until further notice, excluding freight traffic.

Exempted from the order are staff of diplomatic missions and international organisations, provided they heed the instructions of the Ministry of Health, including self-quarantine for 14 days, and that diplomatic missions and international organisations inform the Ministry of Health, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, if any staff members show symptoms that require medical tests.

Accordingly, all land and sea border crossings and airports of the Kingdom are deemed closed to passenger traffic, with the exception of commercial freight. Jordanians abroad shall be asked to remain in their places.

Jordanians in neighboring countries who need to return home can enter through land and sea border crossings pending the Ministry of Health’s procedures.

Third, public events, religious worship, and tourism: All public events and gatherings are halted, with citizens instructed not to gather at social events, including houses of condolence and weddings.

Underlining the importance that citizens stay at home, to the best of their ability, and only to leave when necessary.

Under the guidance of the Fatwa Council and the Council of Churches, prayer in all the Kingdom’s mosques and churches shall stop as a precautionary and preventive measure, with a commitment to calling out azan (call to prayer) on time, and the broadcast of a unified Friday sermon on television stations.

Banning visits to hospitals and prisons as of Sunday until further notice.

Closure of tourist and archaeological landmarks for one week to carry out sanitization campaigns at these sites.

Halting sporting events and closing cinemas, swimming pools, sports clubs and youth centers until further notice.

Halting the serving of smoking hookah (water pipe smoking) and smoking in cafes and restaurants, and authorizing the competent official authorities to shut down any cafe or restaurant that fails to observe these instructions.

Cafes and restaurants are obliged to keep space between seats as per the instructions of the Ministry of Health in this respect.

On another front, work shall continue in the ministries, government entities and public and official institutions.

As for private sector workers, measures will be agreed, in cooperation with the Chambers of Industry and Commerce and the competent authorities, to protect workers and ensure workflow.

The crisis cell shall work around the clock to follow up on the developments related to the novel coronavirus, and the following task forces emerge from it: a health care task force, a task force to regulate and monitor borders, crossings and airports, a social protection task force, a strategic inventory task force (medicine and food) and a media follow-up team.

These measures are reviewed periodically to decide on whether to extend or suspend them or adopt new additional measures as needed, the statement added.

Source: Kuwait News Agency