‘Alarming’ increase in COVID-19 cases

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AMMAN — On Sunday, Jordan recorded a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases, with a positivity rate of 4.44 percent and 1,061 new confirmed cases.اضافة اعلان

As the highly contagious Delta variant continues to spread around the world, the increase raises concern that the vaccination campaign is not moving fast enough to hold back the pandemic.

Minister of State for Media Affairs Sakher Dudin described the increase as “alarming” in a media statement. He emphasized the ongoing threat of the virus and urged Jordanians to abide by all health measures and take the COVID-19 vaccine.

"It is the responsibility of everyone to protect themselves and their loved ones,” he said.
Similarly, Prime Minister Bisher Khasawneh urged ministries and public institutions to tighten the enforcement of safety measures and defense orders.

“This stage, where many neighboring countries and the whole world are seeing a steady rise in COVID-19 infections and deaths, requires the highest levels of care and commitment, as well as more vaccinations to avoid any health setbacks," he said.

Vaccination campaign continues

As of Sunday, a total of 2,788,103 people in Jordan have received the first shot of the vaccine, while a total of 2,060,638 — around 20 percent of the total population — received both doses. Vaccines being distributed in the country include Pfizer-BioNTech, Sputnik, Sinopharm, AstraZeneca, and Johnson&Johnson.

The country has also expanded its vaccination campaign. Whereas previously individuals had to wait for an appointment based on certain priority factors to receive the shot, now all individuals over the age of 12 can receive a vaccine without an appointment. Minors must have approval from their parents to get the jab.

Additionally, those who received Sinopharm but are traveling to countries where the shot is not accepted are still eligible to receive a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech. On Monday, July 25, individuals can get the Pfizer booster from 9am until 3pm at the Orange Digital Village vaccination center.

Around the globe

Jordan is not the only country witnessing an increase in COVID-19 cases even as vaccination campaigns have spread. Several countries have reintroduced lockdown measures and restrictions to combat rising caseloads. The variant has proven particularly dangerous in areas with low rates of vaccination coverage.

Australia’s New South Wales, for instance, is facing a new wave of infections after an anti-lockdown protest. A new wave has also been reported in Lebanon.

A new variant of the virus, identified as B.1.621, is also under investigation in the United Kingdom. Sixteen cases of the new variant have been confirmed in the UK, although it is not clear whether it leads to more severe illness or makes vaccines less effective.

According to the World Health Organization’s July 20th epidemiological update, the global number of new cases reported from July 12-18 was over 3.4 million, a 12 percent increase from the previous week.

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