Jordan recorded its highest single-day coronavirus infection tally on Tuesday, Jordanian Health Minister Saad Jaber said, as the country struggles to contain a surge of new infections.
Of the 634 COVID-19 infections announced Tuesday, a majority were recorded in the capital,Â Amman. The country of 10 million has registered 5,679 COVID-19 cases and 33 deaths since the outbreak began.Â
â€œThe health minister urged people to abide by safety measures and social distancing, warning against the danger posed by gatherings and celebrations that flout safety measures,â€ state news agency Petra reported.
The coronavirus has also spread to Jordanâ€™s under-resourced and crowded refugee camps. Earlier this month, the United Nations refugee agency confirmed the virus was detected for the first time among Syrians living in refugee camps.
Confronted with a spike in coronavirus cases, Jordan last Thursday suspended schools for two weeks and announced a series of nationwide restrictions. The government shuttered places of worship, cafes, restaurants and public markets, and schools switched to online learning for all but grades 1, 3 and 12.
Large gatherings, including weddings, mourning rituals or any event with more than 20 people, are now banned. Violators risk jail time of three months to a year, a fine between 1,000 and 3,000 Jordanian dinars ($1,410-$4,230), or both, according to the state-run Jordan Times.
Under a state of emergency, Jordan imposed some of the worldâ€™s harshest coronavirus restrictions in March. Officials have said they hope to avoid reimposing the nationwide lockdown and army-enforced, round-the-clock curfew, which kept the virus in check but strained Jordan’s already fragile economy.
Jordan began easing restrictions in April, and Jordanâ€™s international airport in Amman resumed regularly scheduled international flights this month after a six-month closure.Â