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What will air travel look like?; 90% of Covid victims have recovered; Guayaquil returning to normal; Expat found dead; Foreigners fly home

What will air travel look like when it resumes next week?

Latam airlines says it will resume flights between Cuenca and Quito next week.

“It will be radically different than it did before the coronavirus,” says Marco Subía, president of the Ecuador Airline Association. “At the beginning, service will be very limited and people who need to fly, either within the country or internationally, may find it hard to find flights when they need them but this will slowly improve. The airlines are hoping to be back to 50 percent capacity by the end of the year, compared to January and February, but this depends on several factors that are yet to be determined.”

Avianca, Latam and AeroRegional say they will resume flights on Monday. Latam will serve Quito, Guayaquil and Cuenca while Avianca will fly to Quito, Guayaquil, Coca and Manta. Cuenca-based AeroRegional plans service between Quito and Loja but has not released details. Both Avianca and Latam have filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy claims in the United States but say it will not affect national service in Ecuador.

“International schedules and destinations are still undetermined and depend on when countries reopen their borders,” Subía says. “Another obstacle is the wide variety of Covid-19 health requirements in different countries. This will be very hard for airlines to manage since these will change from day to day, from country to country.” He says that large airlines, such as American, KLM and United, have confirmed they will fly a limited schedule in and out of Guayaquil and Quito beginning next week.

He said Ecuador’s requirement that incoming international passengers show negative PCR test results taken within 72 hours of a flight will discourage some travelers. Travelers who are unable to take a test prior to flying will be quarantined for seven to 14 days in a hotel in Quito or Guayaquil. “The biosecurity requirements will be with us for a while and we will have to live with them,” Subía says.

Fear of contracting the virus will also keep air travel down, tourism experts say. “The comfort level of potential travelers will be a major factor in the return of air travel volume,” says Diego Padula, director of the Ecuador Association of Travel Agencies. “Many Ecuadorians know people who have been sick with Covid, or who have died from it, and this will discourage air travel for a period of time.”

Padula says his members are mounting a campaign to encourage Ecuadorians to vacation in the country.

Virus update

Health Minister says 90% of virus victims have recovered

Ecuador Health Minister Juan Carlos Zevallos reports that nearly 90 percent of the people who have tested positive for Covid-19 have recovered or are in the process of recovering. “Of the 38,471 confirmed cases as of today [Thursday], 34,522 citizens have overcome the disease,” he said. “It is easy to become alarmed by the total number of infections but it is more important to know the the vast majority of victims have recovered.”

Beginning Monday, June 1, private vehicles can circulate under a new formula.

Zevallos said he is confident that Ecuador is past the worst of the Covid-19 outbreak. “We are on the road to a normality and I urge all citizens to exercise responsibility and discipline to continue this progression.”

City bus negotiations continue
Cuenca’s municipal bus system remains sidelined as city officials and representatives of bus owners continue discussions. Although national Covid-19 restrictions allow buses to operate, disagreements over subsidies and route changes remain to be resolved. In addition to asking for funding to operate at the reduced capacity mandated by health restrictions, bus owners say the city owes them payment for half fares for students, the disabled and the elderly. The city says the owners have not justified their demand.

Without an agreement, thousands of Cuencanos have been forced to find alternative ways to get get around town. Under normal circumstances, urban buses transport 363,892 people a day from Monday to Friday, and 199,801 on Saturday and Sunday.

Guayas returns to normal while Covid cases spike in other coastal provinces
After being an international epicenter of the coronavirus, the infection rate in Guayaquil and Guayas Province is now among the lowest in the country. At one time registering 70 percent of the country’s cases, the percentage has dropped to 47 percent while daily deaths have dropped from a high of 650 to about 70, which is the pre-virus average.
Meanwhile, Covid cases are rising sharply in Manabi, Santa Elena, El Oro and Esmeraldas provinces.

Expat found dead at home
Police have recovered the body of 72-year-old James Ron Wolf, who they describe as as a legal resident from North American. The body was found in an advanced state of decomposition at his home in Guabopamba and was taken to the municipal morgue for an autopsy.

10,000 foreigners have left Ecuador, while 12,500 have returned
Ecuador’s foreign ministry reports that about 10,000 foreign nationals have flown out of Ecuador since March 14, when the national borders were closed. Most of those on the repatriation flights were North Americans, the government said. The ministry said about 12,500 Ecuadorian citizens and residents have returned home on humanitarian flights while another 7,500 are waiting to return.

25 thoughts on “What will air travel look like?; 90% of Covid victims have recovered; Guayaquil returning to normal; Expat found dead; Foreigners fly home

  1. If you are unable to get the PCR TEST before your flight back to Ecuador will you be able to take
    the test when you arrive in Quito or Guayaquil. This should shorten your quarantine time at a hotel.

    1. Yes, from what I understand, but you’ll still need to quarantine for 7 days when you get here. If you take the test before you get on the flight, and you’re negative, you don’t have to quarantine.

      1. “If you take the test before you get on the flight, and you’re negative, you don’t have to quarantine.” Where did you hear that? Any official website please?

        1. I haven’t been able to find this information either. I also understand that there is a list of approved hotels for quarantine.

          1. Would someone be able to rent an airbnb and self isolate there? Or only in approved hotels? Is there a list?

  2. Fear is worse than the virus itself. Why did governments (not just Ecuador) not require such test for the flu all along.

    1. Because the flu has never killed thousands of Ecuadorians over the course of a single month.

    2. I’m not sure whether you’re being deliberately obtuse or just contrary. I’ll assume you simply haven’t a clue and want to know. I offer this little tidbit from STAT (it’s a link event hough it doesn’t look like it) from a week ago:

      “How the COVID-19 virus hijacks cells”

      “I haven’t seen this before.” is in the title which sort of goes along with the “novel” part of the virus. This is why this thing is so dangerous despite all the denial floating around by those who do not want to know this to be true.

      1. “I’m not sure whether you’re being deliberately obtuse or just contrary.”

        They are not mutually exclusive. It is clear he is obtuse, but such people are often contrary as well.

        1. good point.

          Great article too. This is a confirmed and important piece of the puzzle.

            1. Yeah, lots of misinformation, misunderstanding, and simple dishonesty about Sweden is out there. The problem isn’t so much the information which we know is not and cannot be 100% accurate. Uncertainty can be compensated for. The problem is folks who form an opinion then look for only what supports their position or belief. Most completely ignore anything contrary to their personal beliefs and dream up all sorts of reasons why what they disbelieve can’t be true. Belief does not equal truth or reality. That is a completely backwards process. What’s more they are the same people who often champion themselves as great critical thinkers. Good critical thinkers question their own beliefs, thoughts, and ideas as rigorously as those they don’t agree with. The better ones are more critical of themselves and can modify their position when they discover they may or are wrong. Confirmation bias is possibly the biggest error we make.

              1. “Yeah, lots of misinformation, misunderstanding, and simple dishonesty about Sweden is out there.”

                Yes, and the biggest purveyor of that misinformation/lies is FedUpExpat.

                “The problem is folks who form an opinion then look for only what supports their position or belief.”

                We call that a scanning bias and it is found all along the political spectrum, but wherever you find it, it is a mark of ignorance and someone that isn’t a truth seeker.

                ” What’s more they are the same people who often champion themselves as great critical thinkers.”

                FedUpExpat

                “Good critical thinkers question their own beliefs, thoughts, and ideas as rigorously as those they don’t agree with.”

                Perfectly stated.

      2. Cool article!! It makes me think that a vaccine for CONVID-19 is far away if ever because of it’s unusual complications…..This entire planet could easily have NO human life whatsoever if COVID_20 decided to come along before we figure this on out, It’s seems so foolish to not take this virus very seriously

    3. Frank, the flu on average infects 45,000,000 people and 65,000 die in the US, this pandemic has infected 1,750,000 and killed 105,000. There is no comparing the two, if 45,000,000 get infected in the US, God help us all, this will be devastating… the Spanish flu had a three year run in the US, this virus has been going through the population for 4 months, that leaves 2.5 years to go, if we don’t develop a vaccine @ 20,000 new infections per day, that’s 912 days, that’s 18,250,000 at that rate of infection. Now that some are running outside without any PPE, do you think the rate of infection will rise?
      What you are advocating is dangerous and effectively fanning these conspiracy theories that this is nothing to worry about. That makes you as culpable as Rush, Hannity, Jones and Trump. It will kill US citizens, no one wants to see this, I’m sure you don’t. No one will take any precautions if they are being told this isn’t any different than the flu. If you want to help Ecuador, US, Brazil… don’t spread this type of damaging misinformation.
      Look up Spanish flu, read the data from John Hopkins and worldometers and do your own research… you don’t need to take my word for it.

  3. THAT’S GREAT NEWS!! 90% recovery! Guayaquil getting “back to normal”! This information doesn’t match credible sources but it is kind of CHL to cherry-pick stuff they want us to hear. It doesn’t speak to the different results for the two distinct groups, the under 45s and the over 45s..but hey! 🙂 The main thing is that Ecuador is now doing better than any other Covid-19 nation on the planet! Hell, the USA, without even without adding the excess death numbers from registry offices, cannot claim to do anywhere as well as that! Thank God for the new CHL!

    The truth is most nations in Europe and the North America failed in their first goal and are giving up. Far too little and/or far too late. I wonder whether that would be the case if it was a disease like measles or polio that focuses on the young ones rather than older people.

  4. You must still have valid cedulas for bus and airline travel. Too many people pass by that fact. Especially the 1 in 20.

  5. What hotel is being used for the quarantine? Can I book a room on my own and quarantine there? I have a dog and it requires outside time.

  6. Whether 90% have actually recovered remains to be seen. In countries that are ahead of us on the infection timeline (Italy, for example), people that were sent home as “recovered” a few weeks later returned with severe problems. While initial cases might be dismissed as anectodal, more recent evidence from the severely-hit Italian Lombardy region paints a different picture. According to a recent news report on German portal n-tv (https://www.n-tv.de/politik/Italiens-Corona-Katastrophe-hat-Verantwortliche-article21799009.html), 25% (!) of patients that were released from intensive care “cured” later returned with severe kidney failure and had to undergo kidney dialysis. Some returned with lungs severely damaged, an observation that had already been made in Austria several weeks ago but due to the small sample, it did not receive wider attention then. Of course, a lot more research needs to be done into the long-term health effects of the virus, but the simple fact that something like this is POSSIBLE makes me wonder whether some health consequences of this pandemia have not been underestimated.

    In order to get the real picture, we certainly should wait a little longer before jumping to early conclusions.

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