Jordan health minister resigns after oxygen outage kills six patients

Amman: Jordan’s health minister resigned on Saturday after six people died following an oxygen outage in a hospital treating coronavirus patients and police were deployed to hold back angry relatives, state media said.

The oxygen failure earlier on Saturday hit intensive care, maternity, and coronavirus wards in the new Salt government hospital west of the capital Amman.

Soldiers stand guard outside Al-Hussein Al Salt Hospital in Salt, Jordan after at least six patients in a COVID-19 ward at the hospital near the capital Amman died due to a shortage of oxygen supplies. Credit:AP

A government spokesman said Prime Minister Bisher al Khasawneh asked Health Minister Nathir Obeidat to resign over the accident for which Obeidat had earlier said he carried “moral responsibility”.

Obeidat said initial investigations showed the six deaths were caused by a one-hour disruption in oxygen to the wards and that prosecutors were handling the case.

Jordan’s King Abdullah also later visited the hospital.

Angry people gather outside the Al-Hussein Al Salt Hospital.Credit:AP

Jordan is facing a spike in COVID-19 infections attributed mainly to the fast transmission of the British variant of the virus. It announced last week stricter measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 and reimposed a full lockdown on Fridays.

The country reported 8300 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, the highest daily death toll since the pandemic first surfaced in the kingdom a year ago.

Jordan, with a population of around 10 million, has recorded 385,533 cases of COVID-19 and 5224 deaths.

Reuters

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