Jordan's health minister resigns after oxygen outage kills six

Jordan's health minister resigned on Saturday (March 13) after six people died following an oxygen outage in a hospital treating coronavirus patients.

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.

A government spokesman said Prime Minister al Khasawneh (pron al kas-ahnay) asked the country's Health Minister to resign over the accident.

The government 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.

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.