AMMAN (Reuters) – Jordan reported 6,454 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, its highest one-day tally since the pandemic started, official health data showed on Tuesday.
The new cases were up from 5,861 reported on Monday in the country of 10 million people. In total, Jordan has recorded 155,993 cases since March, along with 1,909 deaths.
The surge in the last two months has put Jordan’s infection numbers above those of most of its Middle East neighbours and reverses months of success in containing the outbreak.
The kingdom also posted 66 deaths with an alarming spike linked to COVID-19 in the daily tally since the start of the month. It posted a record 91 new deaths last Tuesday.
Prime Minister Bisher al-Khasawneh has toughened restrictions this week by closing leisure centres after closing gyms earlier this month and imposed stricter social distancing rules.
The country has also since the latest spike expanded a night curfew and maintained closure of schools and universities.
The government said a lengthy nationwide lockdown which the aid dependent economy can ill afford was a last option.
The government also said this week it would use the resources of the country’s advanced private hospital industry to cover any shortfall in bed capacity in the national health service if the pandemic worsens.
(Reporting by Suleiman Al-Khalidi; Editing by Alistair Bell)