Jordan’s King confronts hospital chief after oxygen outage killed 7 COVID-19 patients

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King Abdullah II of Jordan visited the new Salt government hospital west of the capital Amman on Saturday to confront the hospital director after seven coronavirus patients died following an oxygen outage.

A video of King Abdullah’s confrontation with medical directors at the hospital went viral overnight amid widespread outrage in Jordan following the incident.

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During the confrontation, King Abdullah could be heard angrily asking hospital director Dr. Abdulrazzaq al-Khashman why had there been an oxygen outage. An aide of the King then points to al-Khashman to adjust his facemask, which was covering his mouth but not his nose.

Al-Khashman has resigned alongside three of his deputies. At least five hospital employees were also arrested following the incident, according to sources.

Jordan’s Minister of Health Nathir Obeidat also resigned after reports confirmed that oxygen supplies at the new Salt government hospital were cut off for about an hour.

A state of panic erupted in the hospital following the incident, as family members of COVID-19 patients rushed to the facility to check on their sick relatives, local media reported.

A Royal Decree was issued on Saturday approving the assignment of Interior Minister Mazen Faraya to manage the Health Ministry with immediate effect following the incident.

Obeidat, the sacked health minister, has handed in his resignation earlier after saying that he bore a moral responsibility following the incident that took place at the new Salt government hospital.

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