As the number of registered cases of Covid-19 continues to grow in Jordan, and with five deaths confirmed so far, rigorous measures have been implemented to contain the outbreak.
In a country that has already experienced an influx of refugees, the epidemic puts increased pressure on an already overlburned healthcare system. In Jordan, refugees are among the most vulnerable populations, as they often face difficulties accessing adequate healthcare.
ACTED has a long-standing presence in Zaatari refugee camp, which hosts 76,000 Syrian refugees, and King Abdullah Park Refugee Camp, which houses over 500 Palestinian refugees. Between 8th – 12th March, 2020, ACTED initiated a Covid-19 preparedness campaign in both camps, organizing awareness raising sessions on personal hygiene and handwashing etiquette, reaching over 6,700 camp residents directly. Moreover, in King Abdullah Park, ACTED distributed 515 soap bars, one for each camp resident.
On 21st March, Jordan imposed a nation-wide lockdown, with everyone restricted to their households except for essential needs, in the hope of preventing further infections. With access to the refugee camps restricted, ACTED continues to inform camp residents on updates and key hygiene messages, through the use of WhatsApp instead of personal visits or awareness sessions.
These initial measures urgently need to be supplemented in order to increase preparedness and response capacities in Jordan. ACTED is planning a major scale-up of its Covid-19 activities to this end in the weeks and months to come