The family of Dr. Roberto Galva Jiménez, the first deceased by the coronavirus in Costa Rica, following the tradition of solidarity instilled by the doctor, decided to cremate the body as part of the fight against Covid-19.
The family accepted with all responsibility the measures of the Ministry of Health to avoid conglomeration. Juan Carlos Galva Rodríguez, son of Don Roberto, stated that they are Catholics and are waiting for the right moment to carry out the memorial for their father.
“We are Catholics and let this be clear in your report, it is a death from coronavirus, it is a contagious disease, it is a matter of public health and we as a family and aware of what is happening, immediately request the cremation,” Galva Rodríguez told La Teja and other media.
With the agglomeration activities being inhibited, we are waiting for this to pass and for the health emergency to be lifted to hold a mass, an act of remembrance, but when it is possible,” Don Juan Carlos stated.
Galva added that the hardest part is the isolation of the family, the only way to prevent other families from going through a similar situation.
“We know the importance of the matter, but, although it is painful, deserves to be taken with caution,” he added.
Don Juan Carlos said that his father should be remembered as an extraordinarily rigid, disciplined and tenacious man.
“He was very intolerant of mediocrity, he could not bear it, he criticized it harshly and at the same time though being such a strict man, I can say that he was a man who had the biggest heart in the world,” he added.
He commented that the family generally found out about good things he did, but long after he did them because he did not say them, but acted in good faith and without showing off.
Dr. Roberto Galva Jiménez was infected by direct contact at the Alajuela hospital, by his daughter, an employee at the medical center and two more members of this family nucleus are also infected.
“This was not a community-acquired infection,” said Don Juan Carlos, explaining that this person infected his sister and she passed it on to her mother and father.
“This person who brought the virus from outside was an infective of sixteen people, of the first twenty-two cases that occurred,” he said.
Don Juan Carlos added that he cannot say if that person infected others due to lack of care, ignorance or for some reason because it would fall into speculation and it is a complicated issue.
“What I can say is that my sister did not associate the symptoms they were having with the coronavirus. There was not, within our system, an alert where people were told in a very emphatic way (at that time), ‘See, if you have this, this and this … this is it,’ he said.
“I don’t even blame the authorities, this virus spreads so fast and is so aggressive (…),” he
He said that his sister’s mother, also infected, has Alzheimer’s, so she is not very aware of this harsh situation of the virus.
Remembering the good doctor
Don Roberto (Dr. Roberto Galva Jiménez) was a very prestigious doctor, a friend of Longino Soto at the time and, like him, a fan of Alajuelense (Alajuela soccer team).
He worked 45 years for the Costa Rican Social Security Fund (CCSS); Most of his time in the Alajuela hospital.
He was also deputy director of the Hospital Nacional de Niño (National Children’s Hospital) and interim director, he was also proposed as Minister of Health, but he did not recall in what period or whose administration, according to his son.