PM says current COVID-19 daily load risks community spread

[9/13/2020 4:00:15 PM]

AMMONNEWS - Prime Minister Omar Razzaz on Sunday warned that the current sustained daily load of COVID-19 infections threatens to rapidly take the country from controlled and isolated infection hotspots to community spread, which, he said, is difficult to contain.

The prime minister appealed to the public to ensure strict commitment to health safety measures, stressing that the country’s ability to maintain its current adaptation and openness approach primarily depends on everyone's commitment.

"It is your commitment that determines how we will deal with the coronavirus. The genuine commitment to prevention measures will enable us to continue our adaptation and openness approach while the failure to do so will mean a health setback that will unfortunately take us back to closures," Razzaz said in a weekly Sunday address to the nation.

The premier pointed out that a successful management of the pandemic cannot be achieved by the commitment of 95% of citizens to preventive measures, saying the failure of the remaining 5% of society members to abide by safety measures is "sufficient to cause a painful setback."

Razzaz emphasized that the current stage in the fight against the pandemic is critical and leaves no room for complacency or recklessness, noting that he has instructed the ministers of interior, industry and trade and all concerned agencies to step their efforts and ensure full compliance with the defense orders that were put in place to protect the health of citizens.

The prime minister renewed the call on the public to follow health safety measures, including the use of facial masks and sanitizers, social distancing and the use of the contact-tracing app Aman.

He also called on citizens to self-isolate in the event they show any of the disease symptoms, adding: "We must all commit and work together so that we do not take fall back and lose the gains we have achieved".

Furthermore, Razzaz said that Jordan firmly rejects the "herd immunity" approach, stressing that "this type of thinking has no place in a country that was founded upon upholding human dignity and its longstanding principles that that "the human being is our most precious asset".

Since the outbreak of the pandemic, Razzaz noted, Jordan has introduced shutdowns which were among the fastest and strictest in the world and managed to contain infections and flatten the curve with the aim of increasing its health and procedural capabilities.

He indicated that a total of 700 coronavirus patients are currently hospitalized and with 100k weekly tests, the country is approaching the one million test threshold. Razzaz also said the epidemiological investigations teams are being increased substantially and quickly and that hospital staffs are being trained on how to manage the pandemic.

Razzaz indicated that the COVID-19 crisis underlined the need to pursue self-reliance, particularly food security which has always been a key emphasis of His Majesty the King.

In this context, Razzaz announced that the establishment of a regulatory body that will be mandated with protecting consumers and controlling food products quality and pricing.

He explained that several current bodies are merged in the new body to give it full oversight responsibility and the ability to guarantee the quality of Jordanian food products.

"During the coronavirus pandemic, we have seen challenges and incidents that alerted us to the importance of upgrading control over the quality and safety of our agricultural and animal food products," Razzaz said.

In this regard, Razzaz thanked civil society institutions and national media outlets for their role in pinpointing pain-points and helping the government remedy any shortcomings related to food quality control.

The prime minister said the coronavirus crisis gave rise to various opportunities, including the promotion of a culture of solidarity, accelerating the government digitization drive, promoting Jordan’s food and agricultural industries and encouraging the public to adopt much needed health safety measures.

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