Jordanihealth minister resigns after oxygen outage killed six patients

AMMAN (Reuters) – Jordan’s health minister stepped down Saturday after six people died following an oxygen outage at a hospital treating coronavirus patients, and police have been employed to restrain angry relatives, they said. the state media.

The lack of oxygen early Saturday hit the intensive care, maternity and coronavirus wards at the new Salt government hospital west of the capital Amman.

A government spokesman said Prime Minister Bisher al Khasawneh has asked Health Minister Nathir Obeidat to resign over the incident for which Obeidat had previously claimed to be responsible for “moral responsibility”.

Obeidat said initial investigations showed that the six deaths were caused by an hour-long interruption in oxygen in the wards and that prosecutors were handling the case.

Later, King Abdullah of Jordan also visited the hospital.

Jordan is facing a spike in COVID-19 infections attributed primarily to the rapid transmission of the British variant of the virus. It announced tougher measures last week to curb the spread of COVID-19 and reset a complete lockdown on Friday.

The country reported 8,300 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, the highest daily death toll since the pandemic first emerged in the kingdom a year ago.

Jordan, with a population of around 10 million, has recorded 385,533 cases of COVID-19 and 5,224 deaths.

Reportage by Suleiman Al-Khalidi; Editing by Ros Russell, Alexandra Hudson