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Middle East matters

Jordanian health minister on leading his country's fight against Covid-19

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS
MIDDLE EAST MATTERS © FRANCE 24

In this edition of Middle East Matters, we continue our rolling coverage of the Covid-19 pandemic across the region. Jordan is flattening its coronavirus curve after a series of strict measures, including travel bans. We speak to Health Minister Saad Jaber, himself a doctor, about how he's managed the crisis. Also, deadly clashes erupt after hundreds take to the streets in northern Lebanon amid a crash in the local currency and a surge in food prices. 

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Jordan has become one of the first countries in the Middle East to ease its lockdown against the Covid-19 outbreak. During almost 40 days, daily life was upended, the economy paralysed, the 10 million-strong population divided and borders shut. Some called these measures draconian, but experts say it was because of these early steps that the country managed to maintain a very low death toll, which currently stands at under 10.

At the helm of the campaign to battle the disease is one man: Health Minister Saad Jaber, whose nightly press briefings have become must-watch TV in Jordan. He joined us from Amman to discuss his response to the crisis.

But first, we take you to Lebanon, following deadly clashes between protesters and the army in the north of the country. Hundreds took to the streets this week, defying a lockdown and curfew. They were voicing anger at the long-brewing economic crisis, which has been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic. We tell you more.

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