The Ministry of Health will launch a nationwide monitoring campaign for the detection of any potential cases of novel coronavirus, Health Minister Abdul Latif Wreikat said on Sunday.
Following the confirmation of the novel coronavirus in two Jordanians who died in April, the ministry, in cooperation with the World Health Organisation (WHO), will keep an eye on cases of acute respiratory diseases and test them for the virus, Wreikat added.
A team of WHO experts is currently in Jordan to assist in further epidemiological surveillance and to strengthen the sentinel surveillance system for severe acute respiratory infections.
In a sentinel surveillance system, a designated group of reporting sources — hospitals, agencies — agrees to report all cases of one or more notifiable conditions.
Wreikat explained that the delayed confirmation of the disease in the deaths registered in April is due to the unavailability of the “reagents” used to diagnose this virus.
A reagent is a substance used for the detection or determination of another substance by chemical or microscopic means.
At a press conference on Sunday, he said when the deaths of a 25-year-old man and a nurse working at Zarqa Public Hospital were registered in April, the ministry asked for the WHO’s collaboration and sent samples to the Centre for Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases (NAMRU-3) in Egypt to assist in the laboratory investigation.