The rise in COVID-19 cases is “not a sign of a new wave”, adviser at the Prime Ministry for Health Affairs and the official in charge of the pandemic response Adel Bilbeisi said on Thursday.

One COVID-19 death and 2,135 virus cases were reported during the last epidemiological week, Bilbeisi said, noting that despite the uptick in new cases, the situation “does not reflect a new wave”.

Speaking to the Jordan News Agency, Petra, the official said that “the Kingdom has not experienced a new wave of COVID, as the figures recorded weekly should not provoke concern”.

He noted that at the peak of the first wave the number of cases reached 37,000 a week, 56,000 cases were reported during the peak of the second wave, 35,000 cases at the height of the third wave, and the fourth wave’s peak hit 135,000 cases with the majority of the cases being the Omicron variant.

“More consideration should be given to multiple indicators, notably the rates of hospital occupancy, mortality, positive tests and citizens' commitment to receiving the vaccine, rather than the term ‘wave’,” he noted.

Over the past week, 10 to 15 COVID-19 patients were hospitalised, he said, noting that only three COVID-19 deaths were reported during the last 10 weeks.

He also drew attention to the importance of wearing face masks, especially for the elderly and people with chronic health conditions.

Stressing that the symptoms of the BA.5 sub-variant, a highly-transmissible mutation of the COVID-19, causes less severe illness, compared with the previous variants, he said that the BA.5 sub-variant now accounts for nearly 20 to 25 per cent of all the COVID-19 cases reported in the Kingdom a week.

Over 75 per cent of people aged above 18 years have received COVID-19 vaccination, while the immunisation rate among people above 60 years has reached 65 per cent, he said.


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