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Jordan confirms 12 cases of COVID-19 — Health Ministry


The Jordan Times


AMMAN — The government on Sunday announced that 12 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in the Kingdom.
The confirmed cases include five Jordanian citizens, six French citizens, and an Iraqi national. 
The government announced six cases earlier on Sunday morning, among them four French tourists, a Jordanian who was in contact with a US tourist, and another citizen who returned to Jordan from the UK.
Later on Sunday, the Ministry of Health confirmed six more cases, including an Iraqi national who resides in Jordan but arrived in the Kingdom from abroad. 
Health Minister Saad Jaber said during the announcement on Sunday morning that 250 coronavirus tests were conducted on Saturday, all of which came back negative. 
"If we overcome the two-week period with full control, then we can say that we eliminated the disease," Jaber added.
Also during the announcement, Minister of State for Media Affairs Amjad Adaileh said that the measures recently announced by the government will be applied to all, including airports, restaurants, cafes and public gatherings, among others.
Adaileh also expressed his hopes that the situation will be contained within two weeks, adding that the government will take proper measures until then. He also voiced his appreciation for the private sector's response to the government's procedures.
According to Jaber, the Jordanian citizen who arrived from the UK on March 8 experienced some symptoms of the virus at midnight on Saturday, and tested positive after visiting a hospital. "The citizen has been quarantined," he said.
The minister added that a French tourist reported breathing difficulties while in a hotel in Amman. A specialised team was sent to check on him and three other French citizens who were with him. 
Samples were taken from four French tourists, who all tested positive and were quarantined earlier on Sunday, Jaber noted.
As for the Jordanian who was in contact with an American tourist who came to the Kingdom from Egypt for two days, the minister said that after discovering that the tourist was infected with the virus, those who were in contact with her during her stay were tested. 
The Jordanian citizen tested positive, Jaber said, adding that the test is being conducted again to confirm the result. The minister noted that he expects the new result to also come back positive.
He said that the Kingdom is expecting the return of thousands of Jordanians from countries experiencing outbreaks, noting that each citizen will be instructed to undergo home quarantine. If any of the returning citizens experience symptoms, the epidemic monitoring team will implement the proper procedures regarding sterilisation and testing.
Regarding a Canadian tourist who was confirmed to be infected with the virus after leaving the Kingdom, the minister said that 28 people who were in contact with her have been identified and tested. Test results showed that all are clear of infection. However, they will undergo testing again to confirm the result. 
Later on Sunday evening, the Jordanian citizen who had returned from the UK days ago and tested positive for the virus earlier in the day, was found after he fled from Prince Hamzah Hospital in Amman. 
Hospital Director Abdulrazaq Khashman said that the citizen left the hospital without notice before being admitted to isolation or receiving the needed treatment, according to a statement issued by the hospital. 
Khashman stressed that the hospital requested the police to follow up on the issue and tighten security in regards to quarantined individuals, highlighting the warnings given to coronavirus patients to avoid contact with others.
According to the director, the hospital revealed the patient’s personal information for safety purposes.  
A specialised unit from the Criminal Investigation Department later arrested the citizen, according to the Public Security Directorate’s spokesperson. He added that a domestic worker who was in the same place where the citizen was found will be tested for infection with the virus, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.   
According to officials, the Kingdom’s first confirmed case of coronavirus, a Jordanian citizen who had returned to Jordan from Italy several weeks ago left the hospital on Friday.
There are currently 83 people in quarantine, officials said, and the total number of people who completed the quarantine period and tested negative for the virus stands at 303. 

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