Experts praise relaxing pandemic health measures

(Photo: Ameer Khalifeh/Jordan News)
AMMAN — Two years after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, officials have begun rolling back health measures — a move that met mixed reactions from experts and the public.اضافة اعلان

According to the latest data, Jordan marked 9,135 new COVID cases between March 12 and March 18, a 64 percent decrease compared to the preceding week (March 5–11).

Additionally, the positivity rate dropped almost 10 percentage points in the same period, and currently stands at 12.08.

In remarks to Jordan News, Mahdi Al-Aqrabawi, the head of the Jordan Medical Association, said that the lifting of restrictions came at the right time, but added that the more severe of the COVID regulations should have ended a long time ago.

He acknowledged that lifting the health measures will have an impact on public heath, but contended that it would be a “controllable” one. He stressed that hospitals would be able to keep pace with the current rate of infections.

For his part, economist Yousef Damra praised the government’s decision to lift public health measures, explaining that if the strict measures were to continue, “the high cost of shipping and the rising prices of materials ... would be a heavier burden” on the commercial sector.

The easing of procedures will ease commercial operations and have a “positive, albeit minor, effect on citizens’ purchasing power,” he contended.

Mufleh Aqel, also an economist, said the impact of the lifting of restrictions would be “positive”, and that the results would be quickly visible.

He argued that people’s ability to shop without limitations, gather publically, and host celebrations would help push the Jordanian market forward.

However, for some, the government has not gone far enough in lifting public health restrictions. Head of the Syndicate of Restaurant and Sweets Shop Owners Omar Awwad told Jordan News that because people are still required to wear masks in closed spaces, the positive effect on restaurants will be minimal.

Additionally, the spike in the price of goods will not encourage people to spend at restaurants, he said. Awwad said the suspension of the Defense Law entirely would boost the country’s economic situation.

Read more National news