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Jordan to send doctors and medical supplies to US as lockdown measures eased

April 21, 2020 at 12:20 pm

King Abdullah II of Jordan in Tokyo on 27 November 2018 [David MAREUIL/Anadolu Agency]

Jordan’s King Abdullah II has said that his country will send doctors and medical supplies to the US as the Hashemite Kingdom starts to ease its own national lockdown measures.

Amman has reported fewer than ten new coronavirus cases per day for ten consecutive days, suggesting that draconian lockdown measures imposed in March have helped to flatten the curve. Violators of what have been some of the strictest lockdown orders in the world are threatened with up to a year in jail.

“We acted quite early on,” King Abdullah told Sunday’s “Face the Nation” on CBS News, “and that helped us flatten the curve… the cases that we’ve had over the past week are under 10 people every day. We average 15 give or take on a weekly basis. So it seems that we’ve got things under control and within the capabilities of our medical and health establishments.”

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Jordan has reported a relatively low number of cases, totalling 425 confirmed infections including seven deaths to date. The US, however, has reported the largest number of cases and deaths anywhere in the world.

King Abdullah cited international help for enabling Jordan to flatten the curve. “Many individuals and countries have helped us as we have, in turn, been helping them.” He called on governments to continue working together.

Coronavirus spreading in the Middle East - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

Coronavirus spreading in the Middle East – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

“Unless we work together, we will not be able to overcome this in the way that we need to. Our enemies of yesterday or those that were not friendly countries yesterday, whether we like it not, are our partners today.”

Amman’s move comes as the Jordanian government is starting to ease pandemic-related lockdown measures. Authorities lifted the lockdown on the southern port city of Aqaba on Sunday but kept strict health precautions in place.

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Meanwhile, Jordanian officials announced plans to lift lockdown orders in the three southern governorates of Tafilah, Karak and Ma’an, which have not recorded any new coronavirus cases since the outbreak began in March. Citizens will now be allowed to leave their homes between 10am and 6pm, with officials monitoring the situation closely. Jordan is the first country in the region to ease its lockdown measures.

Nevertheless, according to State Minister for Media Affairs Amjad Adaileh, public gatherings, including wedding ceremonies, will remain banned until further notice. Schools, universities, mosques and churches will also remain closed.