Gov't stiffens measures following Omicron spread - spokesman

(Photo: Jordan News)
AMMAN - Minister of State for Media Affairs and government spokesman, Faisal Shboul, on Thursday said the government took strict measures to address the upcoming New Year's gatherings and celebrations, following the rapid global spread of the Omicron variant.اضافة اعلان

During a meeting with members of the media, Shboul indicated that the measures include checking for proof of receiving the COVID-19 jabs, with a period of no more than six months since receiving the second shot, in addition to showing a negative PCR test taken during the 48 hours preceding any event.

Under the stiffer measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus, a representative from the Ministry of Interior will be assigned to each facility that holds a large celebration, including hotels and tourist resorts, in addition to monitoring on any gatherings held in private farms, which have become popular among Jordanians recently, to ensure compliance with these conditions and the health protocol, the state minister added.

"These measures aim to protect citizens and ensure their safety in light of the accelerating global epidemiological developments," he told the press.

On other government measures, he pointed to the Defense Order No. 35, which prohibits public and private sector employees and government service recipients over the age of 18 to enter any public and private facility without having received the two COVID-19 jabs, excluding special cases determined by the Minister of Health or an acting official.

Speaking about the epidemiological situation in the Kingdom, Shboul explained that the government is closely monitoring all developments related to the Omicron variant, as well as global measures taken to curb its spread.

As of Thursday morning, Jordan recorded 14 new cases of the Omicron variant, raising the total cases to 21, two of which have already recovered, Shboul stated, predicting a rise in the number of infections as the Kingdom increases testing for the variant. He also pointed out that the Ministry of Health received yesterday the first shipment of a testing kit for the Omicron variant.

He urged the public to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and its booster shot to help the fight against the pandemic, and to reduce the possibility of administering patients into the hospital, underlining the importance of tests conducted at airports and border crossings in this regard.

Elaborating on a Cabinet decision to form a committee to modernize the public sector, Shboul said the move comes in implementation of the directives of His Majesty King Abdullah II to forge ahead with the comprehensive modernization tracks, which cover the political, economic and administrative aspects. This aims to achieve a "qualitative shift" in the level and automation of government services and address challenges that have emerged over the past few years in the public sector. The public administration aspect focuses on three key areas; legislative, institutional and service improvement, he added.

To that end, the government is researching the reality of the Jordanian media and the challenges it faces to subsequently come up with measures to address them in order to bolster the media's role and overcome professional and ethical obstacles that have recently become prominent.

The state minister reviewed five agreements signed earlier this week between the Aqaba Development Corporation and the Abu Dhabi Ports Group, noting that they are a continuation of a 2007 agreement to implement the Marsa Zayed project, which was launched in 2009 but was halted a year later due to a lack of funding and regional events. The project, he explained, was originally set to be implemented in three phases with an estimated cost of $10 billion.

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