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  • Shops, bakeries, and even pharmacies were shut down Saturday in a complete lockdown of commercial activity.

    Shops, bakeries, and even pharmacies were shut down Saturday in a complete lockdown of commercial activity. | Photo: EFE

Published 24 March 2020
Opinion

“I understand the worry and anxiety. ... The curfew is not a natural state that we have ever experienced before and reflects negatively and psychologically on us,” the prime minister said.

Jordanian Prime Minister Omar Razzaz said Tuesday that his government would allow people to go on foot to neighborhood shops, in a move to ease a tight curfew imposed Saturday on people to contain and prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

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Razzaz said that starting Wednesday people will be able to leave their homes from 10:00 am to 06:00 pm.

“I understand the worry and anxiety. ... The curfew is not a natural state that we have ever experienced before and reflects negatively and psychologically on us,” Razazz added.

Larger supermarkets will reopen Thursday to sell goods online and home-deliver them.

The PM warned any stampede or rush in any shops would prompt immediate closure. He said the ban on private vehicles would be maintained.

The strict curfew was imposed after King Abdullah decreed a state of emergency and gave the government broad powers to enforce a curfew and other measures restricting civil and political liberties.

Shops, bakeries, and even pharmacies were shut down in a complete lockdown of commercial activity, and with the army deployed in the streets across the country to enforce the curfew. Anyone who was found outside his home could face up to one year in jail.

The government had justified the measures by saying that many people did not follow the instructions to stay at home.

Last week Jordan closed land and sea border crossings with Syria, Iraq, Egypt, and Israel, and suspended all incoming and outgoing flights.

Health Minister Saad Jaber said Tuesday that confirmed cases of the virus jumped to 154, with 27 new cases in the biggest daily increase since last week. No deaths were reported so far.

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