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Cuenca News

Airport prepares to resume operations; Work crews cut grass again; IESS status debated; Chile prohibits those over 75 from leaving home

Jueves, 14/5/2020

Hola, Todos –

Actividades –
De la pagina cultural –

Free on-line classes – El Instituto Superior Tecnológico del Azuay has 5 free courses this month – marketing for artesanos, vehicle technical inspections, basic kiwcha (sic), 3D mechanical design on computer, and basic metrology. Each class is 40 hours with afternoon and evening hours. Go to www.tecazuay.edu.ec if you’re interested. Classes start this and next week.

Otras cosas –

Titular – Discusión por el IESS (Discussion about the IESS) – The autonomy of the Institutos de Seguridad Social (Iess, Issfa (armed forces), e Isspol (police)) are being debated in the Asamblea. The law of Ordenamiento de las Finanzas Públicas (Ordering of Public Finances) would include the IESS’s with the public entities which are handled by the Ministerio de Finanzas. Opponants say that this would lessen their autonomy, especially in budgeting, and would also undermine the autonomy of the GAD’s (Gobiernos Autónomos Descentralizados).

Cuenca’s Mariscal La Mar Airport

Red to yellow – The Comisión de Salud of the Cuenca COE met Thursday to analyze data on the coronavirus in Cuenca, and will send that information to Mayor Palacios. The COE will use that data at tomorrow’s meeting to decide whether Cuenca will remain at red or progress to yellow. The mayor is working on approval of the protocols to reactivate productive sectors, while maintaining in red. Palacios also pointed out that the effects of the decisions made by the authorities will take about 15 days to be known, and will hardly affect this week’s statistics.

Funeral home owners met with authorities this week to verify mortuary capacity. Mortuaries can handle 3 times as many funerals as they have been handling. They also hope things don’t get to that stage. Since the beginning of the pandemic, mortuaries have cremated 90 people and conducted 10 burials.

Airport – The airport is ready to “alzar vuelo” (take flight – our phrase for the day). Tomorrow, the COE of Cuenca will decide if flights at the Mariscal la Mar airport, which were suspended on 18/3, can resume on 1/6. The Dirección General de Aviación Civil shut down national and internacional air transport until 31/5. The airports in Guayaquil and Quito are getting ready to reopen on 1/6.

Some of the protocols for the airport will be for travelers to show a ticket, boarding pass, or reservation to enter the airport. There will be signage defining waiting areas and circulation paths. Dispensers of disinfectant materials will be installed. The use of the food court, VIP lounge <didn’t even know there was one>, and public parking will be restricted to guarantee 2 m. social distancing. The entrance will be the main doors facing the ticket counters and temperatures will be taken with thermal cameras and long distance thermometers. <Sounds like things that came out of military research.> Pediluvios (footbaths – another word for the day – and something you can buy at the Coral if you want one of your very own.) will also be installed to sanitize shoes and rolling luggage. If someone suspected of having COVID-19 is identified, there is an isolation zone they will be taken to where the on-site doctor and MSP can be notified and the patient transferred to a health facility.

How to pay your electric bill – <This sounds as stupid as how to make a phone call, but some of us grew up with party lines and rotary dial phones so smart phones are a challenge, just as paying a bill in Spanish can be a challenge.> You can pay your bill in person at the Empresa Eléctrica Regional Centro Sur main office from 7-12:30, lunes a viernes. Wear a mask, and consult www.centrosur.gob.ec to find out how much you owe. You can also use the electronic banking services at Guayaquil, Pacífico, Internacional, Pichincha, Bolivariano, Mutualista Azuay y Produbanco banks and at the JEP, La Merced y CREA cooperativas. You can get energy saving tips off their Twitter account: @centrosur_ec as well has suggestions on how to prevent damage to your appliances. <Like not throwing the whole avocado into the blender to make guacamole.>

Green space maintenance – EMAC will resume maintaining green spaces. Work will start in various sectors of the city such as the Tranvía route, mainly along De Las Américas. Landscapers will follow sanitary protocols and distancing. <Given how they normally wrap their heads and faces in bandannas, they’re not going to look too different.> They will be cutting grass, pruning. crowning plants, weeding and aerating the soil. The director of the Asociación de Barrios del Sur asked EMAC to control people bringing their cows into parks and other green spaces. <Those cows have been eating well – the grass in the closest park to me is about hip high – but I’m short. The cuys have been eating well, too. Lots of ladies harvesting grass for them.>

Cities reactivating – 50 municipios have announced their intentions to reactivate various commercial activities. Currently, only Daule, which had the most cases in the province of Guayas, and Palora in Morona Santiago, in the Amazonía where there were the fewest cases, have changed from red to yellow. <The picture of people shopping at a market in Daule looks normal except they’re all wearing masks.>

Deportes –

Nurse/referee – Jessy Lojano is a árbitro asistente (assistant referee) for fútbol. She wants to progress to the next level. She is also a neonatology nurse at the Clinica Latina and a recent mother. <Can you spell “busy?”>

Fidel and the Yankees – Did you hear the story that Fidel Castro might have signed with the Yankees when he was seen at bat at the U. de La Habana by a Yankees scout? It would have been a different world.

Internacional –

Chile – A compulsory quarantine was ordered for Santiago de Chile starting tomorrow at 22:00 after a 60% (2,660 cases) jump in the the number of cases in the last 24 hours. From the beginning, Chile rejected a national confinement and closing of the economy and opted for selective and strategic quarantines with restrictions that were applied and lifted in each city or community based on new cases. The country also announced a nationwide ban on people over 75 years old leaving their homes.

And that´s all for today so Hasta ? –

Jeanne