Jordan’s health minister, Nathir Obeidat has resigned after at least six patients died due to a shortage of oxygen supplies
This was said to happen in the Covid-19 patient ward in the hospital.
Between 6 am and 7 am this morning, oxygen ran out for nearly an hour at the hospital, in the northwestern town of Salt, and this probably led to the deaths of six patients,” health minister Nazir Obeidat disclosed.
Prime Minister Bisher al-Khasawneh ordered an investigation into the deaths at the hospital in Salt, 20 kilometres north of the capital Amman.
According to a video clip provided, about 150 relatives of the patients gathered outside the hospital, which was surrounded by a large deployment of police and security officers, who prevented the families from entering.
One of those waiting anxiously outside was Fares Kharabsha, whose parents are Covid-19 patients. He was inside when the oxygen ran out in the ward and said medical and civil defence workers and people from outside the hospital rushed with portable oxygen devices to try to prevent more deaths.
“They resuscitated a large number of people, including my father and mother,” he said. “I do not know how many, but I saw people who died.”
The Middle Eastern kingdom has reported more than 465,000 cases and more than 5,200 deaths during the pandemic.
Jordan, who has been struggling to secure vaccines for almost 10 million people in the country, received 144,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine delivered through the global Covax initiative on Friday.
The Covax alliance aims to share Covid-19 vaccines with more than 90 lower- and middle-income nations. However, the programme is facing delays, underfunding, and limited supplies.
The EU has allocated €8m (£6.9m) to support Jordan’s purchase of vaccines. A second shipment from Covax is expected in April.