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June 29 2022 3:30 PM ˚
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Are university students adhering to COVID-19 safety protocols?

1. University of Jordan
Amid understandable worries about a new wave of the COVID-19 virus hitting this winter, students have been going back to in-classroom learning but within safety measures. (Photo: Jordan News)
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AMMAN — Amid understandable worries about a new wave of the COVID-19 virus hitting this winter, especially since cases have started to go up over the past couple of days, students have been going back to in-classroom learning but within safety measures.اضافة اعلان

Nathir Obeidat, president of the University of Jordan and a former minister of health, in a statement published by the Jordan News Agency, Petra, said that a return of in-classroom learning after two years must go hand in hand with safety measures.

Obeidat called for the enforcement of health protocols, adhering to public safety procedures, social distancing in classrooms, and mask wearing, and for the remaining 25 percent of students in Jordan who haven’t been vaccinated to be vaccinated. 

He said that the university is counting on students to be committed to these procedures in order to avoid negative health repercussions that would necessitate imposing penalties. 

Obeidat said that there will be a review of the health protocol three months after the return to in-classroom learning, especially regarding students.
However, some students at both private and public universities in Jordan admitted in an interview with Jordan News that they and their colleagues are not adhering to public safety protocols. 

Anoud Maher, a student at a private university, said that “most of the students do not adhere to the safety procedures”, she said that those students find “it hard to fully adhere to these procedures for several hours.”

“It is not possible to wear masks all the time, especially if you are in a classroom with dozens of students around you. Masks make you feel tired or suffocated, and you will be unable to focus in class,” Maher said, adding that there is no social distancing as all students “sit beside each other in a small classroom”.

She said that all students are asked to show the “Green Sanad” on their phones that indicates they are permitted to enter indoor public places, the moment they arrive at the university. The Sanad application indicates if a person has been vaccinated or not or if they have a recent negative COVID-19 test.

“It is required that we take at least the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, otherwise we are not allowed to enter,” Maher said. 

However, Ahmad Al-Khatib, a literature professor, told Jordan News that while some students and faculty adhere to safety protocols, others do not.
“The situation in general in our university is fine; most of the students have already taken the vaccine — which I believe is the most important solution to eliminate the virus,” Khatib said.

“As a professor I adhere to wearing the masks all the time and I socially distance,”, he said, but added “when I am in the classroom and I want to explain the lecture to my students I remove the mask so they can hear me well, but I stand far away from them.”

Khatib said that it is everyone’s responsibility to keep society safe. “That is why when you notice that someone around you is not adhering to the safety protocols advise them to do so — it is for their own good, and yours too,” he said.

The Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research constantly follow up on the epidemiological situation inside schools and universities. They also conduct random PCR tests to ensure the safety of all students.

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