Worries of a post-eid COVID relapse

Fahed Khitan (Photo: Jordan News)
Fahed Khitan (Photo: Jordan News)
Recent epidemiological indicators in Jordan inspire comfort. The number of COVID-19 cases has seen a tangible drop. Daily positivity rates are hovering around 5 percent, sometimes lower, and the vaccination drive is moving at a good pace. Towards the end of June, some 3 million people should be vaccinated, according to Ministry of Health forecasts.اضافة اعلان

Hospitals are also in a good position and the pressure on medical staff has decreased after months of grueling work, which has given the country the opportunity to catch its breath and develop its capabilities for the next stage.

A number of factors has led to this result, the most important of which was the notable response to the vaccination drive and the arrival of vaccination shipments on time and in sufficient quantities, in addition to government measures regarding curfews and lockdowns.

Health authorities had been wary of eid’s effect on infection rates and therefore decided to keep curfew hours as they were. But 24 hours after a decisive announcement in that regard, the Prime Ministry announced the reduction of curfew hours, to begin at 11pm for individuals.

This unexpected decision was clearly made under pressure from the private and business sectors, which are hoping to compensate for losses during eid.

Reducing curfew hours after months of nightly lockdowns ahead of the eid holiday means that the next few days will see heavy turnout from shoppers, especially at night, in addition to many more social gatherings.

This will be cause for concern for health authorities in the days following the eid holiday. The fear is that the numbers of new cases will rise gradually. This has been the case in many countries that have relaxed health measures, only for them to reinstate lockdowns after a new wave of the virus.

We are entering this test in better shape than we were last time, given the number of people who have been vaccinated or who developed temporary immunity after contracting the virus. But that is not enough to entertain the notion that we are protected against a third wave of the coronavirus, especially since immunity fades after three months.

Given the above, a relapse might be in possible within two weeks and it would not be surprising if the government signaled a return to stricter curfew measures to contain a potential third wave.

We must not overdo it with socializing during eid and must remember that the virus remains in our midst in new variants.

Reaching a safe summer requires us to be careful in the coming days.

Read more opinions