Five staffers were taken into custody after eight people died in hospital in the capital Amman due to lack of oxygen supplies on Saturday, local media reported.

According to the official news agency Petra, Amman Public Prosecutor Hassan Abdallat said the director, the oxygen supply deputy, the medical affairs deputy, the administrative affairs deputy, and the logistics officer in the Al-Salt New Hospital were detained.

The suspects were charged over deaths in the hospital, he added.

The investigation into the incident is going on.

The deaths caused a state of panic in the hospital in the central Balqa province, state-run Al-Mamlaka TV had reported.

According to the broadcaster, several patients are in critical condition.

In a statement, Jordanian Prime Minister Bisher al-Khasawneh said he ordered an immediate investigation into the incident. He said those responsible for the incident will be held accountable.

Health Minister Nathir Obeidat tendered his resignation following the hospital deaths.

Speaking at a press conference in Amman, Obeidat said he bears the ethical responsibility for the incident.

It remains unclear whether the dead patients were receiving treatment for COVID-19.

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