As soon as reports about a novel coronavirus in China emerged in early 2020, Jordan’s National Epidemics Committee and Health Ministry on 26 January designated certain hospitals to treat infections and established several protocols to deal with the arrival of the coronavirus to the country, five weeks before the country recorded its first case on 2 March. Despite the fact that Jordan had only one confirmed coronavirus case on 14 March, the government suspended schools, banned public gatherings and closed the borders and airports in response to the rapid spread of the virus in countries surrounding Jordan and around the world.

After learning that a coronavirus infected patient had attended a wedding with 400 guests in the city of Irbid, the government announced a lockdown on 17 March, which was later turned into a strictly-enforced curfew that was described as one of the world’s strictest measures. But the curfew that lasted four days was later relaxed as government plans to deliver food to neighborhoods had failed, and people were allowed to walk to buy groceries from local stores from 10 am till 6 pm when civil defense sirens were used to announce the end of when people can go out. For six weeks, during which infections rose to around 400 cases, the lockdown included a ban on the use of cars with the exception of health service providers.

On 17 March, the government confirmed 6 additional cases, one of the cases was a nurse who arrived to Jordan from Palestine 5 days prior. She was tested to check if she had the virus after showing symptoms, and it was confirmed that the test was positive, increasing the number of cases to 35. The female nurse was working at the women’s orthopedic department at Al-Bashir Hospital. All her colleagues at the department, and people she came in contact with, including her family were tested and underwent the 14 day quarantine procedure. Five more cases were confirmed later that day, bringing the total of confirmed cases to 40.

As of 24 March the number of quarantined individuals is 5050 persons, most of whom are located in hotels that have been rented out by the government and converted into quarantine facilities. The majority of these people have been placed in quarantine upon arrival to Jordan from abroad to wait out the virus’s incubation period. The total number of rented hotels on March 24 has reached 34 hotels (23 in Amman, 10 at the Dead Sea area, 1 in Aqaba).As of 19 August, quarantine in government sponsored facilities is 14 days followed by 7-24 days of home quarantine. Based on uncertain scientific data, diplomats are only required to quarantine at home for 7 days.

On 6 March the Jordanian government made an agreement with Facebook to launch an awareness campaign regarding COVID-19. Facebook will present all site visitors from within the Kingdom with links to the Ministry of Health website promoting its content intended to increase awareness of the outbreak, preventative measures and tips to reduce the spread, and the dedicated facilities for testing and treatment.The government decided to disable the private sector, except for the entire health sector, and vital sectors to be determined by the Prime Minister based on the recommendations of the Minister of Industry, Trade and Supply, and to follow the decisions of the Ministry of Labor regarding personnel affairs.

The government prevented the gathering of more than 10 people, and prevented movement between the governorates, according to Al-Adayleh. He added, The suspension of operations and medical reviews is limited to emergency situations and emergency operations.It also decided to stop the printing of paper newspapers, as they contribute to the transmission of infection, to suspend the work of mass transportation, and to keep the work of pharmacies, catering centers, bakeries, and food, drug, water, fuel and electricity supply chains.

Minister of Digital Commerce and Entrepreneurship MothannaGharaibeh announces distant learning platform.The platform was developed in less than a week, to allow students to study from home. Minister of Education Dr. Tayseer Al No’aimi announces launch of e-learning platform starting 7:00 this morning till 16:00 for grades-12.