Jordan confirms 12 new cases of coronavirus as economy suffers

The kingdom on Saturday imposed measures to fight the outbreak, including a tighter lockdown that closes all borders and bans all incoming and outgoing flights as of Tuesday.

US soldiers stand next to Jordanian flags as they take part in Exercise Eager Lion at one of the Jordanian military bases in Azraq, east of Amman, Jordan, April 26, 2018 (photo credit: MUHAMMAD HAMED/REUTERS)
US soldiers stand next to Jordanian flags as they take part in Exercise Eager Lion at one of the Jordanian military bases in Azraq, east of Amman, Jordan, April 26, 2018
(photo credit: MUHAMMAD HAMED/REUTERS)
Jordan confirmed 12 new cases of coronavirus on Sunday, as the central bank announced measures to help troubled businesses and a tourism sector hit hard by the impact of the crisis.
The kingdom on Saturday imposed measures to fight the outbreak, including a tighter lockdown that closes all borders and bans all incoming and outgoing flights as of Tuesday.
Jordanian officials say the unprecedented measures, which also include closing schools and banning daily prayers in mosques were taken as the epidemic is spreading fast in neighboring Egypt, Syria and Iraq.
The government has kept borders open for commercial cargo and has assured people who were hoarding food that the country has a stockpile of commodities and essential goods that would last six months.
Central Bank Governor Zaid Fariz told Reuters that Jordan's commercial banks were also asked to delay payments of loan installments by companies and to allow rescheduling of retail loans to ease losses by businesses and to help individual borrowers.
In another move, the central bank slashed compulsory reserves for commercial banks to 5% from 7% to inject more than 500 million dinars ($705 million) of extra liquidity to ease the economy's woes.
Officials are worried the crisis that has hit the thriving tourist sector, which generates around $5 billion annually, will slash growth projections and deepen an economic downturn.
The country has closed all tourism sites, including it's most visited attraction, the archeological city of Petra in southern Jordan. Thousands of foreign tourists have left the country in the last few days and hotels occupancy rates have fallen dramatically.


Tags Jordan