Jordan and COVID-19: Effective Response at a High Cost

PRIO Policy Brief

Jensehaugen, Jørgen (2020) Jordan and COVID-19: Effective Response at a High Cost, MidEast Policy Brief, 3. Oslo: PRIO.

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According to health statistics, Jordan has largely avoided the COVID-19 pandemic. As of early June 2020, there have only been 9 deaths in a population of 10 million. Jordan implemented a strict closure before the outbreak gained momentum. The country’s swift lockdown was due to it being well-equipped to coerce the population, while being structurally ill-equipped to deal with a large outbreak. Jordan has a weak health-care system, a struggling economy and densely populated poor urban areas where the virus would have been hard to contain. Jordan is a success story from a public health perspective, but the societal and economic costs have been high.

COVID-19 in the Middle East: Different Regimes, Different Responses

​In May, a new PRIO Middle East Centre project started. The project, entitled 'Reacting to COVID-19 Across the MENA region', aims to explore how Middle East states reacted to the COVID-19 pandemic and what these varied reactions say about the regimes in question, combining statistical analysis of regional patterns with five case studies: Jordan, Turkey, Iran, Israel, and Palestine. The case studies are published in the MidEast Policy Brief series, with an accompanying PRIO Paper presenting the statistical analysis.

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