Jordan orders people to stay at home, bans newspaper printing

Amman, Mar 17 (efe-epa) – Jordan’s government on Tuesday ordered people to stay at home as part of a set of measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, including halting the printing of newspapers.

The new measures will take effect on Wednesday at 8. 00 am local time (5. 00 am GMT) when all public institutions and bodies will close, save the vital sectors, Minister of State for Media Affairs Amjad Adaileh said at a press conference.

All public and private sector employees should stay at home “except for urgent needs”, Adaileh said.

The minister added that the new rules exclude those working in the medical and other important sectors.

The government also ordered the closure of all shops except those trading essential supplies and pharmacies.

The authorities banned the printing of newspapers, “because they help the transmission of the pandemic,” he added.

The Jordanian army said it will prevent people from moving between cities and localities.

Adaileh did not rule out the possibility of applying the Defence Law which gives authorities the power to take further measures, including the provisional suspension of ordinary laws.

Jordan had already taken measures to tackle the novel virus, including the closure of all the schools and universities for 15 days and a ban on praying at churches and mosques.

The government had also stopped all flights three days ago after completing an air bridge that brought back over 5,000 Jordanians who have been placed under a 14-day quarantine in hotels mainly in the Dead Sea resort.

Jordan has registered 35 coronavirus cases, nine of whom are foreigners, according to Adaileh.

China has been the most affected country by the new coronavirus, after it emerged in Wuhan, the capital city of the central province of Hubei, in December.

The virus has spread across the world with nearly 170,000 cases in 148 countries and regions.

The death toll stands at over 6,500 and so far 77,250 people have recovered from the disease.

It has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. EFE-EPA


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