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Jordan gets high marks for dealing with COVID-19, but economic crisis deepens

Jordanians feel that while the government may have succeeded in thwarting the health crisis related to the coronavirus pandemic, it has failed so far in finding solutions to the deteriorating economy.
A dealer monitors price movements on an electronic board at the Amman Stock Exchange after it was reopened following 50-day halt over aimed at containing the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Amman, Jordan May 10, 2020. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed - RC2OLG9OBZFQ

While Jordan was commended for being the first country in the region to impose a strict lockdown to confront and contain the coronavirus pandemic and with spectacular success — just over 800 cases and nine deaths compared to tens of thousands of cases in Israel, Iraq and Saudi Arabia — the government is now being criticized for taking its time to open up the economy and for failing to adopt measures to help ailing sectors. 

On June 6, almost 90% of businesses reopened and the curfew was limited to the early morning only. But the celebratory mood was short-lived as Jordanians ponder the huge economic impact of the lockdown and the government’s measures, under a Defense Law that was activated in March to mitigate the losses. 

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