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Jordan marks noticeable increase in COVID-19 cases

Infections expected to peak in mid-February

1. Hijjawi Omicron
A healthcare worker administers a COVID-19 vaccine in this undated photo. (File photo: Ameer Khalifeh/Jordan News)
AMMAN — Member of the National Committee for Epidemiology Bassam Hijjawi on Friday said that there has been a noticeable increase in COVID-19 infections in Jordan, with more than 34,000 cases recorded last week only, compared to 19,000 cases registered the previous week, according to Al-Rai.اضافة اعلان

According to Hijjawi, around 56 percent of last week COVID-19 cases were recorded among people aged under 34.

“In the last week of the third wave, Jordan recorded 12,600 COVID-19 cases, while the following week it registered 19,000 cases. However, this week, 34,900 cases were registered,” said Hijjawi, indicating that the number of Omicron infections has increased by leaps and bounds, many more than compared to the Delta variant.

“We might record more than 50,000 cases each weak at the peak of the fourth wave in Jordan,” he said, adding that the fourth wave is expected to end within 10 weeks, which the last Delta wave lasted around three months.

Hijjawi also pointed out that the symptoms induced by the Omicron variant are weaker than those of Delta, as it only infects the upper respiratory tract, while Delta reaches the lungs and might cause breathing problems.

Still, unvaccinated people who get infected with the Omicron variant might need to be admitted to the ICU, Hijjawi said, adding that recovery from Omicron infection reaches up to 90 percent.

Other remarks were made on Friday by the Ministry of Health Secretary-General Adel Balbisi who said that there has been an 80 percent increase in COVID-19 cases, which drove the positivity rates high.

He also said that only 625 cases are currently receiving treatment in hospitals.

The infections are expected to peak in mid-February, according to Balbisi, after which the caseload will start to decline, which prompted the postponement of the second school semester until February 20.

He also said that the Omicron variant might infect 20 percent of the medical staff, adding that it usually infects young people, and that Omicron variant was responsible for around 60 percent of the new COVID-19 infections.

The quarantine period for those infected with the Omicron variant is seven days in the case of those asymptomatic, and 10 days for those showing symptoms of the virus, Balbisi added.

Earlier Thursday, he stressed the importance of receiving the COVID-19 booster shot, adding that it enhances immunity by up to 80 percent against the virus and the Omicron variant; he also asked the public to comply with preventive measures, according to the Jordan News Agency, Petra.

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