Buses & tram could be source of new infections; Death toll holds steady; Rules for Father’s Day serenades; 20 Assembly members investigated

Jun 17, 2020 | 5 comments

Miércoles, 17/6/2020

Hola, Todos –

Actividades –
De la pagina cultural –

Serenades – The protocols for artists to offer serenades for Fathers’ Day have been approved and are the same as the protocols for Mothers’ Day. Groups have to be part of the Registro Único de Artistas y Gestores Culturales (RUAC) and have a salvoconducto. They need to specify the number of stops they will make and contact information for the person with whom they are contracting. The maximum number of artists and workers is 8 with a serenade of maximum 40 minutes, performed outside the house. Performances can be on el 29 & 21/6 from 9-21:00.

Otras cosas –

Titular – Transporte público, visto como foco de infección (Public transport, seen as a focus of infection) – In the last 8 days, new record has been set for detecting coronavirus patients with 218 new cases as opposed to 120 the previous week. According to Julio Molina, the health coordinator of Zone 6, crowds and disrespect for bio-security measures are the main factors in this increase. He said that at certain times, around the markets and means of transport, there are crowds, people not using masks, and people are not washing or disinfecting their hands after commercial transactions. Mayor Pedro Palacios added that increased testing has resulted in the detection of more cases.

Last week the number of cases conformed by PCR tests in the public and private health sectors rose from 896 to 1,114. This number is the total number of cases since the start of the health emergency so includes people who no longer have the virus. 881 patients have recovered. As of martes, there were 233 active cases which are quarantined. Of those, 25 are hospitalized in critical condition. The number of Covid-19 deaths remained at 41 with 46 total deaths in the last week. The 46 falls within the normal death rate for all causes so can’t be attributed directly to the coronavirus. ECU-911 received fewer calls, falling from 16 to 12 calls on an average day. Molina said that they are waiting for more ventilators, and pointed out that the solution is not more equipment but fewer patients. And to achieve this requires co-responsibility on the part of the citizenry. <That’s you and me, folks. My life is in your hands.>

Navigating the landslide on the Paute-Guarumales-Méndez road could be tricky. (El Tiempo)

Mass public transit – In spite of its benefits to the economy, health specialists are worried about the reopening of mass public transportation, considering it one of the main sources of contagion. It puts people physically near each other in closed spaces without adequate ventilation. <Maybe buses should go back to operating with the doors wide open. Will fewer people be killed by getting thrown out of the bus than will be killed from catching coronavirus?> In Cuenca, the Tranvía; urban, inter-parish, and inter-provincial buses; taxis; mixtos; and vans are all operating, although at 50% capacity. <The picture of the inside of the Tranvía car looks almost as crowded as a bus along Solano at 12:45 on a school day.> About 60% of the population takes public transportation, 30% use private cars, and the rest walk or use other means of transportation. <Kudos to all you bicyclists.>

A doctor said that there are 3 strategies that apply to mass public transport worldwide to reduce the risk of catching COVID. The first is to reduce the number of passengers. The second is to lower the number of contacts between people, such as between the driver, fare collectors, and passengers and touching common surfaces. The third is the use of masks by all occupants and daily disinfection of the vehicles. The president of the CTC said that buses are completely fumigated after each shift by a contractor specializing in this field. <I hope it’s not some bigwig’s no-count nephew whose last known means of support was selling lemons on street corners.> Drivers also have their temperatures taken at the beginning and ends of their shifts.

Provisional passage – A provisional lane has been opened in the vía Paute-Guarumales-Méndez after a mudslide two weeks ago. This is one of two stretches of the road which was <were?> affected by slides. Traffic is only allowed during the daytime due to the continuing instability of the gully and the risks of more slides. 3 families were evacuated since their houses are at risk of collapsing. <Any driver risking that road has to have nerves of steel. The photo shows a VW sized boulder blocking cars from just driving off into the washout. The open “lane” is marked with logs and stones and looks to be wide enough to accommodate an all terrain vehicle.> Alternate routes include Sígsig-Chiguinda-Gualaquiza and Gualaceo-Plan de Milagro-Limón. The second route is open from 6-18:00 due to instability in the Ingamullo II sector. Drivers also need to be cautious at km. 21 & 57 due to microslides. The carretera Cuenca-Girón-Pasaje is open, but there is continued falling material at km. 86, similar to Cuenca-Molleturo-Puerto Inca at km. 57 & 91. <Better be an extreme emergency that puts you on the road.>

Products from cloistered nuns – The Archdiocese of Cuenca has a project to rescue traditional products made by the nuns in the city. A space has been prepared in the Seminario San Luis to sell the candies, wines, remedies and crafts. Nuns in the Monasterio de la Inmaculada Concepción are bottling el agua de “pitimas” <It’s supposed to be good for your nerves, heart and anti-stress.>

Más de 20 asambleístas enfrentan procesos legales (More than 20 assembly members face legal proceedings) – On 13/11/2018, a complaint was made by asesores (advisors/aides) for an assemblywoman that she was taking a percentage of their salaries in exchange for them keeping their jobs. Reporting the practice, known as diezmos, kicked off complaints about 13 other assembly members. Except for 3 assembly members who were removed from office, the other complaints have not passed the pre-procedural stage. Other investigations include unjustified increase in assets, influence trafficking, improper use of public property, and asking for jobs in exchange for votes.
A political analyst said that what is happening now started in the Correa administration with the acaparamiento (hoarding or stacking?) of the courts and institutionalization of impunity through legal reforms through which corruption was legalized. He said there have been phases of corruption in the country. With Sixto Durán there was the vinculación de familiares (nepotism?), and Abdalá Bucarám institutionalized bribery. What is new in the last 13 years is organized crime – the mafialización of politics where there are no parties – just mafias and interest groups. <Why does politics seem to attract the most venal of us?>

And that’s all for today so Hasta ? –



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