Jordan closes border with Syria due to virus concerns

The temporary closing of the Jaber border crossing coincides with concerns the coronavirus is spreading in Syria.

al-monitor A vehicle arrives at the Jaber border crossing between Jordan and Syria (Nassib crossing on the Syrian side) on Oct. 15, 2018. Photo by KHALIL MAZRAAWI/AFP via Getty Images.

Aug 12, 2020

Jordan will close its border with Syria this week following increases in COVID-19 infections in Syria and at the border crossing itself.

The state-funded Al-Mamlaka TV reported today that the Jaber crossing will close on Thursday for one week. The Ministry of Interior made the decision following an increase in the number of coronavirus cases at the center.

Al-Mamlaka also reported that the prime minister ordered a review of health measures at Jordan's other border crossings.

Jordan closed its land borders to travelers in March at the start of the pandemic, allowing only trade. The Jaber border will now be completely closed for the stated period. Jordan reopened its international airport to passenger flights from select countries this month.

The closure follows an increase in coronavirus cases in Syria. The country registered 67 new cases on Monday, bringing the total to 1,255, according to the state-run SANA media outlet.

The Syrian government does not control all of the country, though, and the quality of health care and virus testing is weak in many parts of Syria.

“The Syrian population continues to be considered at high risk, particularly when combined with relatively low levels of testing, recent relaxation of precautionary measures, the accelerating spread of COVID-19 in neighboring countries, reported infections of several health workers and the debilitated state of the health system,” the United Nations reported last month.

Jordan, on the other hand, has fared relatively much better in fighting the virus than its neighbors. Most businesses are now open throughout the country. Last month, domestic flights also resumed.

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