City starts cell phone contact tracing of Covid patients; Tranvía history; Infections close public offices; Retirees demand their pensions

Jul 22, 2020 | 11 comments

Miércoles, 22/7/2020

Hola, Todos –

Actividades –

Otras cosas –

Titular – Integración no se ata a voluntades (Integration is not tied to wills) – The city debates how the Tranvía and buses will be integrated today. This weekend, after a 60 day test, the Tranvía will start operating commercially but as of today, there is still no agreement to integrate the systems. According to Román Matute, a civil engineer and transportation consultant, the integration should not depend on what the CTC and city want. An integrated transit system is one of the requirements of the implementation plan for the Tranvía and the Plan de Movilidad y Espacios Públicos de Cuenca (Cuenca Mobility and Public Spaces Plan). He said that it shouldn’t happen that a city has planned, invested in studies, and focused its policies on an integrated transit system and is now left at zero.

<This is for you local history buffs.> Planning for the city with an eye towards having an integrated system started before 1996 when the Proyecto de Reordenamiento del Transporte Público en Cuenca was written. In 2000, the 7 transportation operators were unified into the CTC. <Must have been like herding sharks with a broom to get those operators into one organization.> In 2006 the transportation study was updated and in 2008 card readers were installed on buses. Construction on the transfer stations at the Feria Libre and the Terminal Terrestre started in 2009. In 2012 the Consejo Nacional de Competencia (CNC) transferred authority to the city for planning, regulating, and controlling transit and land transport (buses). Construction on the Tranvía started in 2013. <And has been the Rorschach test for countless gringos to air their opinions about the Tranvía, Cuenca and Ecuador in general.>

Construction of Cuenca’s tram began in 2013.

Cellular monitoring of Covid patients – New regulations will apply in Cuenca which will be the first city to implement a plan to control people who are in epidemiological confinement. As of today, social and business meetings with up to 25 people will remain prohibited. <That would seem to apply to a meeting of as few as 2 people, but not apply to meeting of 26 or more people.> The national and municipal governments will develop a security scorecard to make joint decisions, and they will design a communications campaign to educate the citizenry to redouble its efforts to prevent the virus. Mayor Palacios will be meeting with the national COE again today to talk about changing curfew hours to start at 21:00 and end at 5:00.

The director of Risk Management announced a pilot project to monitor Covid patients who are in quarantine. According to ECU-911 data, since the start of the pandemic, 173 people in Cuenca have broken quarantine and left their homes in spite of the danger of infecting other people. The plan will use a geo-referencing tool, “Contact Tracing,” to follow patients through their cell phones. <Would it really be that hard to leave your cell phone at home? Yes, I suppose it might be.> The decisions were made in the framework of a sustained increase in cases in Cuenca which reached 2,318 ayer, with at least 700 active cases. Even though there was a reduction in the demand for UCI (ICU) beds, beds remain full.

MIES offices closed – The offices of the Ministerio de Inclusión Económica y Social in Gualaceo were closed after an official was diagnosed with Covid. Ruth Caldas, MIES coordinator for Zone 6 said contacts of the first patient are being tested and those suspected of being infected will be quarantined. The offices will be fumigated and disinfected.

Tests and ventilators – The Gobierno Nacional has provided 25,800 rapid tests and 10 intensive care ventilators to the Austro (South). The Gobierno also delivered 7 ventilators for intrahospital transport, 7 portable ventilators, 23 advanced vital signs monitors, 6 defibrilators, 9 portable ultrasound machines, and 3 portable X-ray machines. The equipment is being distributed in the 3 provinces of Zone 6. The equipment is needed to stop the advance of the virus in the area around Cuenca to avoid collapse of the Vicente Corral Moscoso hospital which takes patients from the entire region.

María Paula Romo y César Litardo called by A.G. – <Warning – this is one of those complicated articles that I might have turned around 180 degrees.> The Attorney General’s office is investigating recordings in which ex-legislator Daniel Mendoza and asambleísta Eliseo Azuero talked about paying certain legislators in exchange for votes. Romo, ministra del Gobierno <Good thing the Asamblea didn’t pick her for VP or Moreno might have been looking for VP No. 5 before No. 4 even got sworn in.>, Litardo, president of the Asamblea, and 7 legislators of the Bloque de Acción Democrática Independiente (BADI) were called to testify. Mendoza and Azuero have been implicated in irregularities in the construction of the hospital in Pedernales. In the recordings, Romo was named as the person who “dar los espacios” (gave the spaces) in the hospitals in exchange for votes to save her from political trial against her.

Retirees’ problems increase – The Gobierno Nacional owes $718 million to 14,804 retired teachers. The leader of the Coordinadora de Maestros Jubilados del Ecuador(Coordinator of Retired Teachers of Ecuador) recently died of Covid, and representatives from all provinces met to prepare a tribute to him and to lobby the Ministerio de Finanzas to pay back pensions.

Traffic stops – EMOV EP (Empresa de Movilidad) is continuing with controls to enforce driving restrictions put in place during the health emergency. From marzo to date, EMOV has issued 8,936 citations and confiscated 3,160 vehicles for violating restrictions and misuse of salvoconductos. Private cars with plates ending in 1,3,5,7&9 can circulate lunes, miércoles y viernes. Cars with plates ending in 0,2,4,6,&8 can circulate los martes, jueves y sábado as well as el próximo domingo, 26/7.

Cargo flight from Quito – Air Canada started cargo flights from Quito with a load of 50 tons of flowers to Montreal. In return, a flight from Canada will arrive with medical supplies and electronic articles.

And that’s all for today so Hasta ? –



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