Several Jordanian cities witnessed, on Monday evening, March 15, 2021, Stances and protest marches Limited for the third consecutive day, it demands the departure of the Bishr Al-Khasawneh government, days after the Al-Salt Governmental Hospital accident, which killed 9 Corona patients, whose oxygen was cut off for nearly two hours.
Hundreds participated in protest marches and demonstrations in the capital Amman, and the cities of Ramtha and Irbid (north), Mafraq (northeast), and other areas in the Kingdom, in breaking the curfew imposed by the government as part of the measures to confront the Corona pandemic, calling for those responsible for the Salt Hospital incident to be held accountable, And the abolition of the night curfew.
The participants in the events also demanded the abolition of the Defense Law, stipulated in the constitution, which King Abdullah II approved to work nearly a year ago, to fight the Corona pandemic, and gives the Prime Minister broad powers.
Demonstrators chanted slogans against the government, including: “Down with the defense law,” “death, not humiliation,” and “The people want to overthrow the government.”
Unlike the past two days, the security dealings this night had some violence and force, as the Jordanian security forces dispersed a number of these events and arrested some of the participants in them, while no clashes or clashes between the security forces and the demonstrators were recorded in the past protests.
Activists on social media had circulated over the past days, videos showing protesters gathering in some different areas.
While the Jordanian Minister of Interior, Mazen Al-Faraya, in an interview with the Jordanian state TV, described the night marches as a “farce,” saying: “These gatherings constitute a violation of defense orders (…) that is, a gathering that constitutes a fertile environment for the spread of the virus, and the time has come for this farce to stop.” Stressing that “instructions have been issued to the security services that gathering and gathering after the hours of the curfew will not be accepted and will not be allowed at all, and they will not be tolerated.”
King Abdullah threatens “negligent”
In addition, the country’s monarch, King Abdullah II, vowed to hold accountable the negligent (he did not name them), in the incident at Al-Salt Hospital, saying: “Every person who fails to work and protect the lives of Jordanians will be held accountable,” stressing the need for every official or employee to be as responsible .
However, at the same time, he demanded the necessity to close the doors to what he described as “the strife inside the Jordanian interior, out of respect for the founding fathers and grandfathers,” adding: “The position is not for satisfaction or courtesy, but for faithfully serving Jordanians and Jordanians; the position is based on competence.”
This came in a speech he delivered, on Monday evening, while presiding over a meeting of the National Policy Council, whose membership includes senior state officials and security agencies, and is concerned with following up and drawing up strategic policies and issues of concern to national security.
King Abdullah also expressed his understanding of the difficulties facing Jordanians as a result of the Corona pandemic, stressing that they will overcome the exceptional circumstances that the country is going through due to the pandemic and the economic conditions.
The incident at Salt Hospital, located in the Balqa governorate, northwest of the capital, Amman, sparked a great deal of anger in various parts of the Kingdom.
On the evening of Saturday, March 13, the Jordanian Public Prosecution arrested 5 hospital employees, charged them with jointly causing death, and ordered their detention in a correctional center for a week, pending investigations into the incident.
It is noteworthy that the Salt incident led to the dismissal of the Minister of Health, Nazir Obeidat, from his post. King Abdullah II visited the hospital immediately after the accident and asked its director to “resign immediately.”
Sharp criticism of the government
On Sunday, March 15, 2021, members of the Jordanian House of Representatives (the first chamber of parliament) criticized the government and called for its resignation.
This came during an emergency session held by the Council, at the invitation of its Chairman, Abdel Moneim Al-Awdat. To find out the causes and repercussions of the accident, Prime Minister Bishr Al-Khasawneh and members of his government attended it.
Most of the deputies’ interventions during the session were close in content, as they carried direct criticism of the government, calling for its resignation and putting forward confidence in it.
The government acknowledges that it is responsible
While Al-Khasawneh acknowledged that his government bears responsibility, saying that “the government will not evade nor escape responsibility for the lack of basic service in hospitals in light of the Corona pandemic, according to the literature of political work in Jordan,” referring to the government’s request to the Judicial Council to conduct an independent judicial investigation, confirming that what An event that needs what he described as a large and large administrative revolution in various sectors, and there is a road map for the government regarding this issue, according to him.
For his part, Minister of Interior Mazen Al-Faraya, in charge of managing the Ministry of Health, pointed out to “appointing an administrator (administrative governor) who is specialized in all hospitals, whose job is to solve problems,” stressing that the army has begun to establish a plant for the production of oxygen, which will be ready within 3 weeks and capable of producing 600 A cylinder, and 10 tons of gas next April.
The formation of a representative commission of inquiry
The Jordanian House of Representatives session concluded with the formation of a parliamentary investigation committee into the oxygen shortage incident at Salt Hospital. While a number of deputies signed a memorandum to put forward confidence in the government.
In turn, the head of the Parliamentary Health Committee, Ahmed Al-Sarahneh, said, on Sunday, that the committee will announce the results of the follow-up to the Salt Hospital incident within a week as a maximum, and the results will be followed up with the concerned parties, stressing that the committee will be actual and not fake, and the government should be at a distance about the issue. Health as well as economic. “
It is worth noting that the Jordanian government imposes a comprehensive curfew on Fridays, and partially for 11 hours at night on the rest of the week, to combat the spread of the Corona virus, which has reached record levels of daily infections.
As Jordan came close to reaching the second place in the list of the highest Arab countries in recording cases of Coronavirus, after the countries of Iraq and Morocco.
On Monday, Jordan recorded 82 deaths from the Coronavirus, and 9 thousand and 417 cases, in the highest daily death toll since the outbreak of the epidemic in the country more than a year ago.
The Jordanian Ministry of Health clarified, in a statement, that it had recorded 82 deaths from the virus and 9 thousand and 417 infections, as well as 5 thousand and 124 recoverers. The total number of injuries in the Kingdom reached 486 thousand and 470, of which 5 thousand and 428 deaths, and 401 thousand and 319 cases recovered, according to the ministry.