Thu. Jan 20th, 2022

Politicians and local activists say the incident, which led to 10 deaths, exposed gross negligence in the state health system.

A Jordanian court has sentenced five senior health officials to three years in prison for the deaths of 10 COVID-19 patients after an oxygen outbreak in a major state hospital, state media reported.

The court on Sunday found Abdel Razak al-Khashman, the former director of the state hospital and four of his senior assistants responsible for the deaths, the media said.

The patients, who were treated at the hospital in Salt, a city west of the capital Amman, died in March when staff failed to act after oxygen ran out of a COVID-19 ward for almost an hour. has.

The verdict can be appealed within 10 days, the AFP news agency reported.

The disaster, which according to politicians and local activists exposed gross negligence in the state health system during a rise in COVID-19 infections, sparked anti-government protests in many cities and provincial towns.

Minister of Health Nathir Obeidat thanked hours after the incident and in a public apology, Prime Minister Bisher al-Khasawneh said his government bears full responsibility for the incident.

Shortly after the deaths, King Abdullah II visited the hospital and publicly scolded health officials in the corridor of the hospital, where police were deployed to detain hundreds of angry family members and protesters who surrounded the complex.

The royal visit was intended to defuse tensions in a country where anger with the authorities has sparked widespread civil unrest in the past.

Since the incident, authorities have fired dozens of state hospital officials in a campaign to curb mismanagement and alleged corruption.

Authorities have poured in tens of millions of dollars to train and recruit health workers in state hospitals that are in short supply of qualified staff.

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