This 80-year-old missionary has been flown home with her dead husband’s ashes on the president’s orders from Peru where her partner succumbed to COVID-19.
Ethel del Carmen Trujillo arrived at the Merida International Airport in the southern Mexican state of Yucatan on a Gulfstream G550 jet organised by the Mexican Air Force on direct instructions from President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, according to local media.
She was carrying the ashes of her deceased husband, who is believed to be the first Mexican to have contracted the virus overseas.
The elderly missionary was greeted at the airport by her son Dario Rodriguez Trujillo before being taken to hospital to be quarantined, according to reports.
Ethel and her husband, both former teachers, travelled to Peru on 7th March as part of a religious mission.
However, they were stranded in the country when the COVID-19 pandemic struck and remained there due to quarantine rules.
The couple tried to return home on the first flights organised by the Mexican authorities, but her husband started to display symptoms of COVID-19.
He spent several days isolated in the couple’s hotel room before being taken to hospital.
After encountering breathing problems, he died days later. However, it has yet to be confirmed whether COVID-19 has been attributed as the cause of death.
Mexican foreign secretary Marcelo Ebrard Casaubon said on Twitter that Ethel was brought back to Mexico on the instructions of the president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.
According to official reports, Ethel has found it hard to come to terms with her husband’s death and she has been transferred to a psychiatric unit in the hospital to undergo specialist treatment.
Local media said that the Mexican authorities brought back around 1,700 citizens who were visiting Peru when the pandemic started.
According to the latest figures from the Johns Hopkins University, Mexico has registered 1,215 cases of COVID-19, 29 deaths and 35 recoveries.
Peru has registered 1,065 cases of the virus, 30 deaths and 394 recoveries.
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