Sirens blare in Jordan for start of nationwide curfew to combat coronavirus

A policeman speaks to a driver at a checkpoint in capital Amman during a nationawide curfew imposed by the authorities in order to control the spread of the novel coronavirus, on March 21, 2020. (AFP photo)

Sirens blared at the start of a nationwide curfew on Saturday (March 21), limiting the mobility of its 10 million citizens indefinitely to combat the spread of coronavirus, witnesses and officials said.

On Saturday, the streets of Amman were empty and stores were closed. Municipality employees were driving around the town disinfecting storefronts.

Anyone violating the curfew, which severely restricts movement beyond emergencies and essential services, can be jailed up to a year, the army said.

The curfew, in which thousands of soldiers have been deployed inside cities and on main highways across the country, is in place until further notice.

Armoured police vehicles roamed the streets of main cities, calling on people to heed warnings not to leave their homes, witnesses said.

Jordan has closed land and sea border crossings with Syria, Iraq, Egypt, and Israel, and suspended all incoming and outgoing flights since Tuesday.

King Abdullah enacted an emergency decree giving the government sweeping powers to enforce an army-imposed curfew and other measures that restrict civil and political liberties.

Health Minister Saad Jaber said on Friday that Jordan had 85 confirmed cases of coronavirus, after 15 new cases were identified, with officials warning that numbers could rise.


(Source: Reuters)

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