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Jordan health minister quits as oxygen outage leaves 8 patients dead

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Jordan’s health minister has resigned amid growing anger after eight COVID-19 patients died at a hospital when their oxygen supply ran out, reports Al Jazeera.

State media on Saturday (March 13) reported at least eight deaths at the government hospital in the town of al-Salt, some 20 kilometres (13 miles) north of the capital, Amman.

Jordanian Prime Minister Bisher al-Khasawneh ordered an investigation, while King Abdullah II arrived at the hospital to help calm angry families who had gathered outside.

Denouncing the incident, the king also ordered the hospital’s director suspended, according to al-Mamlaka TV.

In video footage that circulated online, the king is heard saying to the hospital director: “How could such a thing happen. This is unacceptable.”

During his visit to the hospital, the king got angry after listening to what happened and said things cannot be dealt with this way.

About 150 relatives of the patients had gathered outside the facility, which was surrounded by a large deployment of police and security officers, who prevented the families from entering.

During a news conference, Health Minister Nathir Obeidat said he “bears all moral responsibility for the incident that took place at the al-Salt hospital”, adding that the issue has now been resolved and that patients at the hospital are receiving oxygen.

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