The Jordan Maritime Commission has prevented the crews of ships carrying Chinese goods from disembarking in the port of Aqaba, according to Director General of the Commission Mohammad Salman.
All government and private companies, including navigation agents, have been instructed to inform the commission of their ship's arrival date two days before approaching regional waters in order to give the commission time to take public health and safety precautions before the ships reach the Kingdom’s docks, Salman said in a statement made available to The Jordan Times.
The commission, in cooperation with the Ministry of Health, has worked to install a number of thermal imaging devices to inspect the crews of ships arriving in Aqaba, Salman said, noting that the crew of every ship entering the Kingdom’s territorial waters is subject to a physical examination by an experienced medical staff.
When any abnormal symptom is detected, the ship is prevented from lining up on the docks and remains in territorial waters until a confirmation of clearance is issued for all of its crew members.
Jordan currently has commercial exchange agreements with China, with the recent cargo ships arriving at the Aqaba Port carrying more than 15,000 containers, Salman said.
All cargo containers have stopped in several ports of other countries en route to the Kingdom, with some coming from cities in China, however, no confirmed infection of the virus has been detected so far.
According to Salman, there is "no fear of any ship arriving carrying goods on board from China containing any trace of the virus".
“With all the precautionary measures Jordan is taking, and with the Kingdom remaining virus-free for the past couple of weeks, hopefully the danger of the virus will continue to be dodged,” he said.
No confirmed cases of the coronavirus have been detected in the Kingdom, which has thus far avoided the epidemic that has spread across the globe during the past several weeks.
According to Secretary General of the Ministry of Health Adnan Ishaq, citizens’ rush to buy face masks is “unjustified”. Speaking to The Jordan Times over the phone on Monday, he assured citizens that the Kingdom's medical centres are equipped with "satisfactory stockpiles" in the case that the virus reaches Jordan.
“There is no need to use the masks right now, as the situation within Jordan is reassuring. However, citizens are advised to use masks when travelling outside the country,” he said.
Ishaq pointed to the Jordanian government's recent decision to prevent the entry of travellers from South Korea, Iran and China into Jordan due to the "high numbers" of infections recorded in these countries.
As part of the Kingdom's “strict medical measures" to counter the spread of the virus into Jordan, the Ministry of Health has also equipped the Karameh and Jaber border crossings in the Mafraq governorate with heat detectors and qualified medical personnel, according to a ministry statement.
“The ministry has taken these measures in accordance with the directions of the World Health Organisation,” the statement added.
Also on Monday, the Health Ministry refuted reports published by some media outlets about a coronavirus case being registered at a hospital in the Kingdom.
Ishaq said that the ministry followed up with the hospital after the report emerged.
The patient underwent tests at the ministry's central laboratories, said Ishaq, stressing that the tests showed that the patient is clear of the virus.
He also urged the media to verify information before publishing unconfirmed reports to avoid spreading fear and panic among the public, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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