Jordan has surpassed peak of COVID-19 third wave — health officials

A man getting tested for COVID-19 in Amman, Jordan. (Photo: Ameer Khalifeh/Jordan News)
AMMAN — Jordan has seemingly surpassed the peak of a third wave of COVID-19 after a set of indicators proved a regular decline in positive coronavirus tests over the past days, according to health officials.اضافة اعلان

The peak of the third wave was in week 49, which was during December 3–10, followed by a 20 percent decline in cases, from 35,000, in week 49, to 28,000 in week 50, which fell during December 10-17. The positivity rate also declined from 10 percent to 8.6 percent.

Adel Balbisi, secretary-general of the Health Ministry for Epidemiological Affairs, stated to Jordan News that “the wave's peak would subside for sure if the number of infections kept on declining by the end of this week.”

However, Balbisi said it would be a matter of time before the Omicron variant begins to spread after detecting seven cases in Jordan.  “So far, the situation is under control, but it is still unknown what the status will be when Omicron cases increase,” he said, cautioning against not abiding by health measures. “When we say that things are slightly better, that does not mean that people should relax their measures.”

Mohannad Nsour, a member of the epidemiology committee, told Jordan News that it was possible to witness some stability while observing how the Omicron variant would impact other countries.  He insisted, however, that “what matters now is to encourage people to get vaccinated because unvaccinated individuals impose a significant risk on people and could overwhelm the health system.”

Unvaccinated people make up 87 percent of the current COVID-19 related death toll and 82 percent of hospital occupancy rates. "So with Omicron, it is still unclear how these percentages will change," Nsour stated.

“Look at what's happening in Europe. Europeans have received second and third shots, but one-third of Jordanians have not even had their first shot," Nsour added, reiterating the importance of receiving the vaccine.

He noted that the slow turnout for the first shot is not a good indicator of our ability to fight Omicron.

In a step to raise the ability to confront Omicron, new testing kits that are more efficient in detecting the new variant will arrive in the country next week, according to Balbisi.

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