Jordan detects first two cases of omicron variant

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) – The Jordanian Ministry of Health announced Thursday evening that it had identified its first two cases of the omicron variant of the coronavirus.

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) – The Jordanian Ministry of Health announced Thursday evening that it had identified its first two cases of the omicron variant of the coronavirus.

The health ministry statement, announced by state-run Petra news agency, said the first case is a Jordanian national who recently returned from South Africa and is currently in quarantine at a hotel in the Jordanian capital, Amman.

According to Petra, the second case is a Jordanian national who has not recently left the country, raising concerns that the omicron variant is spreading among communities in the kingdom. The second individual is also in quarantine at a hotel in Amman.

In response to the two cases, the kingdom’s National Center for Security and Crisis Management announced on Friday that all arrivals will be required to take a PCR test 72 hours before arriving in Jordan and another PCR test upon entering the country. . The law goes into effect on Sunday and does not apply to children under five.

At the end of November, Jordan imposed new restrictions on passengers arriving from southern Africa, where the highly mutated strain of the virus was first detected. The measures effectively prevent the entry of non-Jordanian nationals from South Africa, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia, Eswatini and Botswana. Jordanian citizens arriving from these seven African countries are required to self-quarantine for 14 days at a state-run hotel at Amman airport.

Jordan, a country of 10.2 million people, has reported 11,879 cases of the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic. Less than half of its population – around 4.2 million people – received a dose of the Pfizer / BioNTech, AstraZeneca, Sputnik V or Sinopharm vaccine, while just over 3.7 million Jordanians received a second dose.

The Associated Press

Carol N. Valencia