Jordan to trial use of electronic bracelets in monitoring coronavirus cases

Jordan to trial use of electronic bracelets in monitoring coronavirus cases
Jordan's Health Minister Saad Jaber announced that 300 electronic bracelets will be distributed in the initial phase of the trial.
2 min read
18 June, 2020
Jordan imposed one of the toughest lockdowns in the world [Jordan Pix/Getty]
Jordan is set to trial the use of electronic bracelets to monitor confirmed or suspected coronavirus patients from Thursday, The New Arab's Arabic-language service reported.

Jordan's Health Minister Saad Jaber announced on Wednesday that three hundred electronic bracelets will be distributed in the initial phase of the trial.

Jaber had previously announced the purchase of 10,000 electronic bracelets to monitor returning students and  ensure that suspected or confirmed coronavirus cases remain in self-isolation at home.

The health minister also announced Wednesday there had been six new coronavirus cases, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in Jordan to 987.
The Minister of Health called on Jordanians to cooperate with the investigation teams and said that some citizens had refused to be tested.

Many Jordanians are struggling to make ends meet after the government imposed one of the toughest lockdowns in the world due to the coronavirus epidemic, the UN has said.

Some businesses have re-opened after a nationwide lockdown was announced on 20 March, leading to a complete freeze on business activity in the country.

Jordan had already been rocked by economic challenges before the tough curfews were enacted, but the situation now for businesses looks even grimmer, Sara Ferrer Olivella, resident representative of UNDP Jordan, told Reuters.

"Many businesses were not doing well even prior to the crisis, similarly many families have little savings left to cope with income losses due to lockdown measures," Olivella told the agency.

Jordan had already seen sluggish growth of around two percent before the lockdown began, according to the IMF, but now the WTO expects the kingdom's economy to shrink by 3.5 percent this year.

Although Jordan has managed to control the spread of the virus, the closure of businesses and job losses will affect all classes in the kingdom.

Unemployment is expected to rise by 19 percent this year while this figure could increase further with Jordan experiencing its first contraction since 1990.

reduction in remittances from Jordanian workers in Gulf states could also have a negative impact.

Read more: Ancient Petra a ghost town as pandemic hits Jordan tourism

A UNDP survey at the height of the lockdown said that two-thirds of Jordanian families had less than one week of financial resources, while more than three-quarters predicted the curfew would have a "long-lasting" impact.

Jordan's lockdown saw people confined to their homes and all businesses and trade shuttered.

Jordan has also been financially hit by turmoil in neighbouring countries such as Iraq and Syria, while the tourism industry was also hit following a series of attacks.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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