Recent rise COVID-19 infections in northern region ‘not alarming’

A man can be seen receiving a COVID-19 vaccination
(Photo: Jordan News)
AMMAN — A recent hike in the number of COVID-19 infections in the northern governorates —rising to 1,000 cases in Irbid in one day — may be attributed to overpopulation in some areas and overcrowding in schools, according to health officials, who said the epidemiological situation in the northern region must be monitored over a certain period of time; at least for two more weeks, before pressing the alarm buttons. اضافة اعلان

Member of the Ministry of Health Epidemiological Committee Muhannad Nsour told Jordan News that “the situation is under control,” and if hospital occupancy increases exponentially, patients could be transferred to other hospitals in the southern region, where hospital-beds occupancy remains manageable.  “Unless infections continue to rise abnormally,” there will be no closures or lockdowns, he said.

Irbid Governor Radwan Otoum also believed that a hike in infections over a few days is not enough indication of the epidemiological situation and that “longer monitoring is needed” to assess the situation accurately. 

In collaboration with the Ministry of Interior, 35 “COVID-19 police” have been deployed to carry out spot checks on public places to increase people’s awareness of the importance of adhering to health measures as well as the advantage of being immunized.

Otoum said strict inspections would continue until “we are able to overcome this phase,” noting that 19 stores were closed on Saturday for violating defense orders.

University of Science and Technology professor Ziad Al-Dwiri, said different factors could have contributed to the recent increase in infections, “and not one in particular,” adding that it could be due to the rise in the number of tests, which would reveal a larger number of infections.

Dwiri said schools and universities, where infection rates are high, are more crowded in Irbid and in the northern region than elsewhere in the Kingdom.

Ahmed Ennab, a doctor at the King Abdullah Hospital said, “COVID-19 does not distinguish between south and north,” cautioning that citizens’ lack of adherence to health measures has been the primary factor for the increase in the number of positive COVID-19 tests.

"People must be careful in public places, including hospitals. During my work at the hospital, I witness large numbers of patients and visitors who do not commit to wearing a face mask, assuming that a hospital is a safe place,” he added.

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