Amman: Jordan used tear gas on Monday to suppress protests against a curfew imposed to stem a severe outbreak of COVID-19, witnesses and residents said.
Police took action after hundreds of protesters in several cities including Amman demonstrated for a second day and defied a night curfew which was extended last week, they said.
Many of the protesters called on the government to resign and demanded an end to emergency laws in place since the outset of the pandemic.
Jordan’s King Abdullah said in comments broadcast on state media he understood that people were frustrated over worsening living conditions. Jordan last year suffered its worst recession in decades as a result of the pandemic.
But he warned his countrymen not to be swayed by dissidents, saying they sought “to sow internal strife”.
The curfew has been extended several times since it was imposed a year ago, most recently on Saturday amid a surge in COVID-19 infections.
Jordan reported 9,417 new coronavirus infections in the past 24 hours, officials said on Monday, its highest one-day tally since the pandemic began. The country of 10 million people has recorded 5,428 deaths from the virus.