Ladies & Gentlemen,
The last few months the world has met a great challenge that affected all
our lives in a way we have never faced before.
A new Chinese coronavirus, a cousin of the SARS virus, has infected
hundreds of thousands since the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in
December 2019 Scientist Leo Poon, who first decoded the virus, thinks it
likely started in an animal and spread to humans.
To date the Covid-19 virus has hit more than 10 Million people with more
than 500,000 deaths all over the world. In Jordan we have 1121 cases to
date with only 9 deaths.
It all started on March 2nd when the first case was detected in Jordan. Our
government took immediate action by activating a national committee
that took very strong rules one week after starting by closing all schools,
universities, restaurants, all public meetings then very soon after total
closure of ministries and even the private sector. This was followed by
curfew and total confinement. It was forbidden to travel between
provinces to better control the disease.
We have never seen the Jordanian Army and police in our cities, they
were there to help us control the disease and to protect us.
It was a very hard time us all. Gradually we started to work from our
homes on line and new methods and new terms have entered our life in
an incredible speed, we started to depend on online shopping basically
since we were not allowed to reach the supermarket. First came grocery
deliveries very soon after pharmacies started delivery services.
Although we delivery services existed already in Jordan I must admit that
not all of us were using them. This changed very quickly.
The services were improved and the government too came up with many
e-solutions to issue all sorts of permits. It all happened in such a short
time, we must admit it was impressive and above all we must stress that
it was designed by Jordanian expertise.
A special mention goes to e-learning and schooling that became
mandatory since all schools and universities were closed. It was very
difficult initially and met many challenges for example the capacities of
the internet, the teachers who were not prepared to give e-classes and
many more. Gradually things started to improve.
Jordan became an example worldwide in our success story to combat
Covid-19 and control the disease.
Although it was a success story on the health level our economy paid a
very high price, the private sector and above all the independent
professionals such as day labourers, electricians, plumbers, taxi drivers
etc. have lost their livelihoods due to the curfews and confinement.
Tourism was among the hardest hit sectors, since all frontiers including
our airports are still closed so basically we can say the number of tourists
is zero, the restaurants have in the meantime have been allowed to open
with very strict rules to follow. This includes social distancing etc.
Although no official figures have been announced our government has lost
lot of its income in terms of taxes since people were not working. Many
people have lost their jobs temporarily and/or permanently. It is feared
that certain businesses will never survive the effects of the Corona virus
on our economy.
The unemployment figures are expected to rise due to the local situation
on the one hand and the expected numbers of Jordanians who are losing
their jobs in the Gulf countries in particular. The loss of jobs in the Gulf
will have a double effect: the increase in the number of unemployment in
Jordan plus the loss of the amounts sent back from these highly paid
We are all hopeful that our country goes back to normal and travel will be
allowed again to open up for tourism which was a major source of income
in our country and we also hope that our economy recovers soon.
We at CAFRAJ are open for business as usual, the counselor department
at the French Embassy is still closed and we will inform you the moment
they will start issuing visas again.