COVID-19 infections, deaths would have doubled without current restrictions: PM


Published: 2021-03-31 11:29

Last Updated: 2023-12-07 14:18

COVID-19 infections, deaths would have doubled without current restrictions: PM
COVID-19 infections, deaths would have doubled without current restrictions: PM

Wednesday, the government held a press conference headed by Prime Minister Bisher Al-Khasawneh; the Minister of State for Media Affairs, Sakher Dudin; and the Minister of Finance, Mohammed Al-Ississ.

During the conference, the ministers announced a number of mitigating measures and decisions to contribute to limiting the repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic.

Khasawneh began the conference by stressing that the general health of the public is a top priority in the Kingdom as directed by His Majesty King Abdullah II. 

He noted however, that despite cases slightly declining, Jordan remains at the height of the pandemic, and the prime concern is preserving the health of the public while preserving the capacity of the health system, "which is under severe pressure."

Khasawneh continued that the stricter measures imposed in the Kingdom, including Friday lockdowns and curfews, are all based on studies, noting that they have achieved "great results."

"We aim to reach a safe summer, in which sectors are opened and through which we begin a gradual return to normal life, which requires commitment to the means of preventing infection."

Had it not been for the restrictive measures, the numbers of COVID-19 infections and deaths in would have been double what was declared, he said.

"The measures that we have taken to deal with the coronavirus pandemic are difficult on the government and all sectors, but it is a priority to protect the health and safety of citizens to face the current wave of the pandemic as is the case in most countries in the world."

He noted that everyone needs to come together to control the spread of the virus, adding that the government will be intensifying vaccination campaigns by providing adequate jabs. 

- Efforts to relieve the economy-

Khasawneh said that the government will be strengthening protection programs and attempting to preserve job opportunities in the private sector.

"Food stocks are safe and available," he said, while assuring citizens that the government will not allow the manipulation of the prices of commodities and foodstuffs.

Ississ noted that the government also will be launching temporary employment programs in the tourism, agricultural and health sectors until the end of this year.

Ississ noted that JD 240 million will be allocated to pay the dues of hospitals and pharma companies.

Dudin said that relief measures will be implemented for the public transport sector, noting that the relevant government teams have made strenuous efforts during the past weeks to come up with this group of decisions and procedures, and to adapt them to economic conditions within the accounts of the general budget.

The total cost of these measures reached about JD 448 million.

Through these measures and projects, Dudin said the government will be able to provide more than 14,500 employment opportunities until the end of the year, in addition to protecting job opportunities for over 100,000 workers in private sector establishments.

In more efforts to releive the economy, Dudin said that the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Supply will allocate an amount of JD 10 million to stimulate the industrial sector, with the aim of increasing job opportunities in the export sectors.

The Ministries of Agriculture and Finance will support the interest of loans for new priority agricultural projects aimed at employing youth, and stimulating the use of technology, at a value of JD four million, said Dudin.

Additionally, the Ministry of Agriculture will launch a national project for afforestation in the various governorates of the Kingdom to employ 6,000 young and unemployed Jordanians at a cost of JD 10 million for a period of six months prior to the end of 2021.

Dudin stated that the Ministry of Health will launch a project to employ 2,500 nurses for a period of six months, through the Jordanian Nurses Syndicate, with the aim of supporting the efforts of the Ministry of Health in hospitals, health centers and vaccination sites, at a total cost of JD six million. Additionally, JD 10 million will be allocated to improve health services during the coronavirus pandemic.

In more efforts to support the youth, Dudin added that the Ministry of Digital Economy and Entrepreneurship will launch a project to employ young men and women who graduated during the last three years, in digital leadership and information technology companies, and the government will subsidize 50 percent of wages for a period of six months, at a total cost of JD 20 million.

The Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities will launch a project to rehabilitate and maintain various archaeological and tourist sites in the Kingdom, to provide about 4,500 job opportunities for a period of eight months, at a cost of JD 11 million.

Ahead of the Holy Month of Ramadan, Dudin said vouchers will be provided to buy food for vulnerable families through the two consumer institutions (civilian and military), for 285,000 families.