Jordan extends closure of government offices until end of April


Amman (Reuters) – Jordan on Sunday extended a month-long lockdown that has closed schools, universities and government agencies until the end of the month to stem the spread of coronavirus, the government spokesman said.

Amjad Adailah said Prime Minister Omar Razzaz took the decision in light of “developments and recommendations” related to the pandemic. Medical and essential public services were exempt.

The country announced on March 20 a nationwide curfew that closed shops and prohibited the movement of people. It came days after the monarch enacted emergency law that gave the government sweeping powers to restrict civil and political rights.

Jordan had registered 389 coronavirus cases and seven deaths as of April 12.

The country has been quicker than most in the region to take drastic measures to stem the spread of the virus by imposing a tight lockdown that has brought large sectors of the economy to a standstill.

The government has in recent days begun to allow some export-oriented industries and agro-industries to get back to work in an effort to cushion the negative repercussions on the aid dependant economy.

The crisis, which has severely hit tourism that generates around $5 billion annually, will slash growth projections, economists and officials say, as its deepens an economic downturn and a slowdown in domestic consumption that were evident even before the outbreak.

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