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The New Arab Staff

Israel approves Covid-19 medical aid for Jordan but no vaccines

Jordan recently faced a large uptick in the virus [AFP/Getty]

Date of publication: 20 April, 2021

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Israel's Covid-19 medical aid to Jordan marks an improvement in recent tense relations between the two countries.

Israel has approved a Jordanian request for coronavirus-related medical aid which will be sent to the kingdom on Tuesday but the batch will contain no vaccines, Haaretz has reported.

Describing the assistance as "extensive", the Israeli daily added it is thought ventilators, Covid-19 tests, and both medical-grade and regular face masks will be transferred.

Vaccinations, however, are not on the list, a key bone of contention between the two countries since Israel announced plans to supply vaccines to allies in February.

Jordan was not included in the list of the now-paused scheme, reportedly per Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's instruction.

Now that Israel has granted Jordan's request for additional water and medical supplies it could mark a turning point in relations after a recent tit-for-tat diplomatic spat.

Read more: Will annexation mark the end of Jordan's peace treaty with Israel?

The Jordanian request for medical aid was sent in March, when the kingdom and region were facing a large uptick in the virus and was relayed through defence contacts, Haaretz said.

Jordan saw countrywide protests last month after nine people died at a hospital in As-Salt, a town near the capital Amman, due to a lack of oxygen.

Over 200 demonstrators were arrested, the country’s health minister resigned, and four hospital officials were detained.

On 31 March, Jordan reported its worst daily Covid death toll during the pandemic at 111, despite encouraging signs from its vaccination programme.

The nation's Covid death rate is now on a downwards trajectory, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

The medical aid comes after Israel signed a deal with vaccine manufacturer Pfizer for millions of additional jabs on Monday.

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