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Jordan's medics in danger as Covid-19 kills doctors

More than 800 have died from Covid-19 in Jordan [Getty]

Date of publication: 1 November, 2020

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Authorities in Jordan have been accused of negligence after a rise in the number of healthcare worker deaths was reported this week.
At least seven doctors in Jordan have died after contracting the novel coronavirus in recent days, figures revealed, as the number of cases continue to surge in the country.

Doctors Syndicate said severe pressure on hospitals and a lack of preventative measures contributed to the rising death toll among healthcare workers.

"We were receiving calls from our colleagues about severe shortages of personal protective equipment," acting president of the syndicate, Dr. Muhammad Al-Tarawneh said.

"There is a lack of means preventing the virus in the public and private sectors. We are talking about special masks and protective suits, not those used by the general public for personal use," he added, calling on authorities to supply healthcare workers with essential protective equipment.

Jordan has struggled to contain the pandemic and has seen increasing number of infections and deaths since the start of October.

Since the start of the global health crisis, Jordan recorded a total of 72,607 cases and 829 deaths.

The Minister of Information Ali Al-Ayed said the government is "agonising" over the high number of deaths, especially among doctors.

"We are agonising over the loss and infection of all Jordanian men and women due to the coronavirus," he said in a tweet, describing them as "White Army" heroes.

Jordan has seen relatively few cases of the disease compared to its neighbours, in part due to a full lockdown in the kingdom early on in the coronavirus crisis, which has since been eased.

The measures enacted to tackle the spread of Covid-19 were some of the toughest in the world, keeping the death toll low and ensuring health services were not overstretched.

But the impact on the economy has been harsh and is expected to shrink by five percent this year, the biggest contraction since 1990.

In mid September, Jordan said it would close a number of public places after a new wave of coronavirus cases in the kingdom were reported.

Schools, places of worship, and markets were closed for two weeks in a bid to stop the spread of the disease.

"We are living through exceptional circumstances," government spokesman Amjad Adailah said according to Reuters at the time.

"These measures are harsh as they are, but we hope they will reduce infections and prevent a large outbreak that would lead to a total shutdown that would have catastrophic consequences."

Jordan re-opened schools in June and recently allowed internaional flights to resume, but social gatherings, such as weddings, have been banned.

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