MEXICO – For Ivonne Santana, the coronavirus represented the most bitter way of facing death, since she assures that “it is terrible not even to be able to take the hand of the person who is leaving you, give them a hug, see them for the last time, it is very difficult . It is very cruel (COVID-19) “, he assures in an interview.

It was past 2.00 p.m. April 19 when the phone rang for the son of Dr. Jesús Ricardo Ríos Rivera, a pediatrician at the General Hospital of Atizapán, admitted to the Primero de Octubre hospital a few weeks ago by COVID-19. It was serious.

Neither the son nor his mother, Ivonne Santana Olguín, expected to be informed that Ríos Rivera, with symptoms of coronavirus since the end of March and who was twice denied the test to confirm it at his workplace, had not endured three heart attacks and had dead.

Ivonne says that the 50-year-old doctor began to feel fatigued in late March and on April 1 he started with a headache “he felt strange” and asked to be tested for the coronavirus, because he also suspected having been in contact with infected staff, “but they denied it twice,” says the now widow angrily.

It was not until five days later, when in a meeting, the director of the hospital noticed him deteriorated and sent him to have the test, which was positive, however, the damage to his lungs was already done.

On April 24, the government of the State of Mexico reported in a statement that Ríos Rivera, who was already showing symptoms, had his sample taken for the COVID-19 test in the emergency area on April 8, which gave positive

A hospital in Mexico implemented this method.

“There are two regrettable deaths, one of them from a doctor, who presented symptoms on April 6, so the corresponding sample was immediately taken in the Emergency area of ​​this hospital, which gave a positive result. April 8, “the entity reported in a statement.

Ivonne assures that the dates that the government reports are correct “but it took days that she went to be reviewed and they had not paid any attention to her,” she affirms, later to point out that the family is considering taking legal action against those who denied her the evidence in those first days of April .

She holds back crying and as she tells her story, her features show courage. “What he most complained about was how it was possible that as a partner they did not pay attention to him,” he regrets and considers that, perhaps, if he had had the evidence in a timely manner “we would have gained time.”


Ivonne assures that in the Hospital where her husband worked for the last three years of her life, they did not care about protecting their staff.

“At the beginning (of the epidemic) I was normal, then they give them a kit -even send me a photo with a face mask- that was more x (of poor quality) than anything, gloves and something else ‘is my fabulous protection kit’ , he told me, “he says.

He even says that the staff complained that Covid patients were treated in the hospital “if they did not have these facilities” and assures that due to the epidemic, residents who had contact with infected patients were reassigned to other areas and one of them was probably the one it infected Dr. Ríos Rivera.

It would be one of the measures to avoid hospital saturation at the request of anticipated infections.

Due to the deficiencies, the doctor had already started the efforts to buy medical equipment outside, face masks, masks, “he said: after I get back I will need it and I cannot be at the expense of what little they can give me”, Ivonne points out. But the doctor no longer recovered.


After the death of her husband, Ivonne has had to face a mountain of emotions. From identifying the body only with the name and age attached to the corpse’s chest, to not knowing if there will be compensation from the hospital.

“My hospital has not spoken to me, I have had no contact,” he says. He acknowledges that he has been told by the union that he may have compensation, but he does not know if that will be true.

“Right now, the only thing I can count on is what he could have left alive. And I say, I do have patience but patience and money also run out,” he says.

In addition to this, the halt in which government agencies have fallen due to the epidemic has also slowed down the procedures for obtaining a pension as many places are closed.

Ivonne asks the population to be aware, “open your eyes, take care of yourself, leave as little as possible” and tells the health authorities “to be more human.”

The president warned that, according to forecasts, the most difficult moments are expected next week, just between May 6 and 10.

“My husband’s is not the only case unfortunately; many complain that they are not tested because they do not have all the symptoms and that is wrong. They should at the first symptom do the test because if they fall ill, who is going to be aware of the patients? “, he warns.

As of this Sunday, Mexico records 23,471 infections and 2,154 deaths from coronavirus, however, on Friday, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador warned that the most critical days for the pandemic were coming.

While Hugo López-Gatell, deputy director of Prevention and Health Promotion reported, that according to mathematical models, it can be expected that the country will reach the peak of the pandemic on May 6, so that later its decline begins.