Amman, Mar 19 (efe-epa).- The Jordanian army on Thursday closed all entrances to the capital Amman as well as other major cities amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Army spokesman Brigadier General Mukhles al-Mufleh told state-owned television al-Mamlaka that the measure was to “limit the spread of the virus,” after the country recorded 56 confirmed cases.
The move came under a defence law which King Abdullah II ordered the government to apply two days ago amid efforts to contain the pandemic.
It allowed the government to stop the operation of ordinary laws and adopt any measures it deems necessary to defend the nation.
country imposed a shut-down of public and private institutions, except for those operating in vital spheres.
The government also closed shopping malls, halted public transportation and stopped printing newspapers, with pharmacies and bakeries remaining open.
Health minster Saad Jaber said on Thursday that the government measures “are starting to bear fruit”.
“Ministry of health teams have monitored no Covid-19 cases among 4,892 people currently quarantined at 34 hotels,” he said.
Other countries in the Middle East region introduced further measures on Thursday to curb the spread of the deadly disease.
Egypt announced the partial closure restaurants, coffee shops, commercial centres and nightclubs.
Premises were ordered to close from 7 pm until 6 am every day until 31 March, according to the government mandate.
The measure will not affect bakeries, grocery stores and delivery services.
Egypt, the Arab world’s most populous country of around 100 million residents, has announced six deaths from the coronavirus and 210 confirmed cases.
Saudi Arabia has cancelled the Jeddah Season Festival, an entertainment and cultural event scheduled for June and July.
The country has reported at least 238 confirmed cases of the disease, which first emerged in China in December.
It has spread around the world with nearly 207,855 cases in 166 countries and regions, with the death toll standing at 8,648.
The World Health Organization officially named the disease Covid-19, while the virus which causes it has been called Sars-CoV-2 by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses.
Symptoms of the disease are in many cases similar to those of a cold but may be accompanied by fever and fatigue, dry cough and dyspnea (shortness of breath). EFE-EPA