Third wave of COVID-19 hits Jordan

(Photo: Jordan News)
AMMAN — Jordan has entered the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic with a recent surge in infections ranging between 2,000–3,000 cases per week and up to 5,000 cases last week, according to Ministry of Health officials, cautioning that the upcoming weeks will be crucial for the ministry to analyze this new wave’s outcome and take the necessary measures.اضافة اعلان

With the recent surge in cases, the ministry has increased the number of COVID-19 tests conducted nationwide and is tracing contacts with infected individuals, while keeping a close monitor on hospital admissions, particularly to intensive care.

Saeed Jaradat, a member of the National Committee for Epidemiology, said that the two main factors behind the recent surge were the reopening of the economy, which led to large gatherings and congregations, and the presence of a “fierce” Delta variant.

Almost all of the recorded cases — 99.9 percent — are Delta variant cases; a variant characterized by its rapid spread and thus its ability to infect a large number of people quickly, which “worries us as a committee”.

Jaradat said measures must be taken to halt the spread of the virus in order for Jordan not to have to resort to full closures, highlighting that hospital occupancy rates in intensive care units in the central and northern regions have reached 40 percent.  He stressed the need for the public to continue to adhere to health protocols, most importantly to get vaccinated.

The majority of recorded cases are from outside schools, at 70 percent. Only between 30 and 33 percent of cases were recorded as occurring in schools.
Irbid and Mafraq governorates each recorded 11 percent of Jordan’s 35,000–40,000 active cases, with an estimated 60 percent of active cases being considered asymptomatic.

Jaradat said herd immunity may not be a possibility given the presence of new mutations, but being fully vaccinated continues to be necessary to provide immunity and reduce the severity of the symptoms. He added that vaccine turnout continues to be low. The fully vaccinated population hovers around 36 percent, he said, although certain governorates, such as Irbid, have a vaccination rate of 24 percent. Aqaba, Amman, and Balqa recorded the highest turnout for vaccinations.

Head of the Parliamentary Health Committee Ahmed Al-Sarahneh said there would likely be new measures put in place to halt the spread of the virus, but excluded the possibility of total closures.  “There will be measures to prevent large gatherings and to restrict the number of attendees at weddings and other social functions, thus avoiding the need for closures,” he affirmed.

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