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May 16 2022 9:03 AM ˚
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Jordanians must learn to live with COVID-19, say health officials

5. COVID Dana
A man is vaccinated against COVID-19 at the Jubeiha Health Center in Amman on January 13, 2021. (File photo: Jordan News)
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AMMAN — The recent surge in COVID-19 cases in Jordan is attributed to a number of factors, foremost of which are the continued refusal by a segment of society to get vaccinated, a weakened immunity against the virus months after taking the first or second jab, the advent of the flu season, and lax precautionary measures by many; in particular relating to the reopening of various sectors and the return to classroom learning, according to health officials.اضافة اعلان

“The substantial increase in COVID-19 cases we have witnessed over the past three weeks is global, and Jordan is not isolated from the rest of the world,” said Bassam Hijjawi, a member of the Epidemiological Committee.” Hijjawi said there has been some “recklessness” during the days and weeks when infection cases had seen a drop, with little adherence by the population to wearing facemasks and observing social distancing.

However, Hijjawi said the current situation remains under control by the health system, but inspection and control teams must be more diligent and strict. He believes people must learn to live with the pandemic by continuing to abide by preventive measures. “Full closures have proven futile and there will be no benefit from returning to lockdowns and curfews,” he said.

The Epidemiological Committee recommends tightened control over preventative measures, promoting immunization, and monitoring unvaccinated people as “they pose a threat to society”.

While school students aged 12–17 constitute one-fifth of the population, vaccination for this age group is optional and requires the parents’ consent, Ministry of Education spokesperson Ahmad Masafah said. He assured that despite the fact that this age group amounts to over 2 million of people, distance learning will not be an option and in-person learning will continue. He said, however, the epidemiological situation in schools is reassuring and under control.

On Wednesday, Minister of Health Feras Al-Hawari told Al-Mamlaka TV that the occupancy rate of field hospitals designated to COVID-19 patients reached 30–35 percent, reassuring that this percentage is not “high” as an average, with the occupancy rate of beds in the Amman Field Hospital reaching 113 beds out of the 400 beds allocated to patients.

A government statement on Wednesday put the COVID-19 positivity rate at nearly 9.2 per cent, with a total of 44,810 active cases; a substantial spike in infections compared to previous months.

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