Coronavirus: Jordan opens first COVID-19 field hospital

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Jordan has opened the first of three field hospitals for COVID-19 patients, northeast of the capital, as a sharp rise in cases has overburdened health facilities.

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The hospital admitted its first patients on Monday, said the interim director-general of medical services in the kingdom Brigadier General Nidal Khasawneh, cited by official media.

The 300-bed hospital was erected in two weeks in the northern Zarqa province, around 20 kilometres (12 miles) from the capital Amman, at a cost of around $12 million.

Two other field hospitals for COVID-19 patients are due to open soon in the central and southern regions of the kingdom, government spokesman Ali al-Ayed has said.

The three hospitals together will have more than 1,000 beds, including 180 for intensive care.

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Facing a sharp increase in cases, Jordan’s private hospitals were mobilized last month to take on patients from overburdened public medical centers.

Jordan has recorded more than 244,000 cases of the novel coronavirus, including 3,116 deaths, according to official figures published on Monday.

Over 1,600 people with COVID-19 are currently in hospital in Jordan, 403 of whom are in intensive care.

“The curve of infections is stable but we are still at the heart of the battle,” said Health Minister Nazir Obeidat.

In an effort to curb the spread of the virus, authorities imposed a nationwide night-time curfew from 10 pm (2000 GMT) to 6 am, with a 24-hour curfew in place on Fridays.

Education institutions remain shuttered and classes are being held online, while gatherings for weddings and funerals have been banned. Leisure areas, swimming pools and cinemas have also been closed.

Health ministry official Wael al-Hayajne expressed hope Sunday the kingdom would receive the first vaccines against COVID-19 in early 2021.

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