Jordan registered 1,767 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, its highest daily tally since the start of the outbreak, with officials warning that a wider spread could force a return to a complete lockdown.
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The country’s total number of confirmed infections now stands at 11,816, with 61 deaths since the first case surfaced in early March, Health Minister Saad Jaber said in a statement.
Jordan, which had some of the lowest numbers of infections in the region in the first few months of the pandemics’ spread, has seen daily numbers rise alarmingly this month, with health officials saying the country now faced a community spread.
The government could be forced to impose a full lockdown that would paralyze daily activity and suspend businesses if a “dangerous” spiral of cases made it difficult for health authorities to cope, government spokesman Amjad Adailah said.
“This is matter that no one wants,” he said.
The government also stiffened jail sentences to up to a year for anyone organizing weddings, parties, funerals or social gatherings where more than 20 people attend, in the latest measures to impose health safeguards.