Jordan COVID-19 Updates
On 14 November, the Jordanian Government issued Defense Order No. 22, which includes stricter penalties for holding, organizing or participating in gatherings, as well as determining the necessary exceptions.
In light of the spiking numbers of the coronavirus in Jordan, the Jordanian Government issued the Defence Order No. 23 on 15 November. The Defense order authorises the government to take charge of any hospital for the admission and treatment of coronavirus patients. The minister of health is also authorised to decide on COVID patients’ medical costs at private hospitals.
As of 18 November, the Jordanian Ministry of Health reported 163,926 confirmed coronavirus cases in the country with 1,969 deaths. On 18 November, Jordan saw the highest daily virus cases with a total of 7,933 new COVID-19 cases, out of which, around 2000 cases were reported in a garment factory in Aqaba city.
Jordan garment Sector Update
As of 19 November, two exporting factories closed their operations due to reporting coronavirus cases inside its production plant. Factories continue to collaborate with the Jordanian Ministry of Health in conducting the PCR tests to their workers and setting up separate facilities to quarantine infected workers and isolate them from the rest of their colleagues to ensure their safety.
On 10 November, migrant workers in one exporting garment factory in Al Hassan Industrial Zone organised a strike against their factory management. Their demands include a salary raise and resumption of overtime work. The strike resulted in suspending the production of the factory to date. The Ministry of Labour along with the Trade Union and Better Work Jordan are following up on this issue to reach conciliation between the factory management and migrant workers.
Better Work Jordan operations update
On 18 November, Better Work Jordan 12th annual Stakeholders’ Virtual Forum convened high-level national and international officials and representatives from participating global retail brands. Under the main theme “Towards Decent Work; Challenges presenting Opportunities.” The participants discussed the current challenges and emerging opportunities in the Jordanian garment sector in the lens of the COVID-19.
During the forum, representatives from the Ministry of Labour, the Trade Union and The Jordan Garments, Accessories & Textiles Exporter’s Association (JGATE) discussed the current economic and social situation in Jordan in light of the pandemic and its implications on the local garment sector. In addition, Better Work Jordan presented its ongoing projects, mainly digitizing wage payments in Jordan garment sector in partnership with Better than Cash Alliance (BtCA) and GIZ. The 10-month project was launched in early 2020 and is directly supporting a group of garment factories in exploring different ways to move from cash to digital payment methods.
Better Work Jordan also introduced the progress made in Enhancing the Structural Integrity of Dormitory Building in the garment sector project. Through this intervention, the program aims to understand the current situation of the dormitory buildings and develop a roadmap to upgrade these housing units in alignment with international codes and best practices across the sector.
As part of Better Work Jordan efforts to better understand the psychological needs of the workers in the garment sector, the program is set to organise a pilot training for mental health wellbeing for factory management in the local garment sector. Three training sessions will be delivered between 24-25 November in three languages (Arabic, English and Bangla) and aims to enhance middle-management understanding of mental health and their managerial role in supporting workers’ wellbeing.
Better Work Jordan operations team continue to virtually deliver Better Work services to participating factories and maintain regular calls with the factory management to provide guidance and support to monitor the health situation in the industry.