Institutional quarantine in effect for Omicron patients

An undated photo of a man getting tested for COVID-19. (Photo: Ameer Khalifeh/Jordan News)
AMMAN — Since the first case of Omicron was discovered in Jordan, the Ministry of Health has confirmed the reinstating of institutional quarantine for certain Omicron patients under specific circumstances. اضافة اعلان

According to a local news outlet, the secretary-general of Epidemiological Affairs at the Health Ministry, Adel Belbisi, has stated that Jordanian citizens who test positive with Omicron in Jordan, without any recent travel history, will have their institutional quarantine subsidized by the government.

However, Jordanians arriving from the seven countries affected by the Omicron outbreak (South Africa, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia, Eswatini, and Botswana) to the Kingdom will have to be institutionally quarantined at their own expense.

To contain the spread of Omicron and to allow health experts to learn more about its workings, it has been decided that patients who test Omicron positive would be subject to 14-day institutional quarantine at hotels.

According to former minister of health, Walid Maani, the idea of self-isolation at home is problematic for several reasons. Some families might have homes with one bedroom or a shared bathroom, making social distancing and isolation rather challenging to achieve in certain households, bearing in mind that virologists have cautioned that Omicron may spread faster than Delta while yielding similar, if not weaker, symptoms.

Given this information, attested by Anthony Fauci, director of the US Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Maani expressed curiosity about “why Jordan does not enforce an institutional quarantine on the Delta variant now while deciding to apply the institutional quarantine measures for the less severe Omicron variant.”

“Perhaps the government will reach a point in which they will decide to deal with the Omicron variant the same way it did with the Delta variant,” meaning that at some point, institutional quarantine might not be the norm in the future; although it’s too early to tell.

At the moment, according to Maani, there are possibly only two individuals currently facing institutional quarantine in Jordan due to the Omicron.

Bassam Hijjawi of the National Epidemiological Committee confirmed that the committee is undergoing investigations to determine each of those who have been in contact with local Omicron patients.

During the past two weeks, the Ministry of Interior has stated that there have been at least 14 arrests made to people who have been infected with COVID-19, as a result of their violation of home quarantine procedures.

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