City to increase pedestrian, bike use and reduce traffic; Prostitutes go underground; Lasso considers left turn; Covid cases drop; Vaccination painfully slow

Feb 24, 2021 | 7 comments

Martes, 23/2/2021

Hola, Todos –

Actividades –

Otras cosas –

Titular – Áreas más seguras para los transeúntes (Safer areas for pedestrians) – The Municipalidad de Cuenca is testing a new area of superblocks bounded by Don Bosco, Loja, De Las Américas, e Isabel La Católica. This is the 3d test with the previous 2 in El Centro. The Fundación El Barranco conducted a series of surveys which concluded that people felt a notable increase in the sense of security in public spaces. 41% saw the possibility making the changes in El Centro permanent.

Some of the advantages of the superblocks are the creation of safer areas for cyclists and pedestrians, the stimulation of a retaking of public spaces, and a decrease in pollution and noise. The Dirección de Gestión de Movilidad (DGM) said that nationally, there are 120 cars per 1000 people, and double that number in Cuenca – 240 cars per 1,000 people. Of the roughly 150,000 vehicles in Cuenca, only 475 are buses and they move 40% of the population. <Kudos to those of you who take the bus, Tranvía, bicis, or walk.>

The presidents of four Cuenca universities say they should not be included in the vaccination priority group. Instead, they are offering their facilities as vaccination centers for others. (El Mercurio)

Lasso dialogará con sectores que no votaron por él (Lasso will talk with sectors that did not vote for him) – After the CNE issued the official results, Guillermo Lasso made his first statements prior to the campaign. He will look for a dialogue with the political organizations who did not advance to the run offs, and a coming together with those holding different idealogical positions. He will be open to dialogue on care of the environment, gender ideology, reproductive rights, and equality of women. <Yaku’s agenda? At least he seems to be willing to come out of the stone age.> He signaled that he’d also talk to organizations that support legalizing abortion, especially in cases of rape which are stances that he was previously completely opposed to. He said his first campaign promise will be to immunize 9 million Ecuadorians in the first 100 days, and his running mate will visit Colombia and Chile to learn about their successes. He presented the possibility of the private sector importing vaccines to immunize their employees to speed up the vaccination process. The Government would focus on health professionals, the elderly, teachers, and public forces, including himself, since he has not yet been vaccinated.

Vacunas para los sectores prioritarios (Vaccines for priority sectors) – In a letter from the ministro de Salud, Juan Carlos Zevallos, rectors of the accredited universities in Ecuador were offered priority in the vaccination plan. This was rejected in a letter from the Asamblea del Sistema de Educación Superior Ecuatoriana (ASESEC – Assembly of the Ecuadorian Higher Education System). The rectors of the U. of Cuenca and UDA offfered to put their institutions into the service of the population by converting to vaccinations centers. They also said the priorities for the vaccinations should be to the populations at the most risk, and that university rectors did not fall into those categories. The University Católica de Cuenca and the UPS did not issue statements, but the positions of the 4 other universities was unanimous.

Espera de vacunas (Waiting for vaccinations) – The 1,500 doses that arrived in Cuenca last week have been given out, mostly to frontline medical personnel. The next shipment, expected this week from Pfizer, will also go to hospital and medical center personnel.

COVID se desacelera en la última semana (COVID slowed down last week) – The number of cases of Covid dropped 16% in the week of 15-21/2 compared to the previous week. Deaths in public hospitals dropped from 61 to 45, and the number of patients in ICU beds also dropped. As of ayer, Cuenca had 13,538 cases of Covid of which 8,673 were patients who have recovered. There were 98 hospitalized, including 44 in ICU beds. Authorities are foreseeing an increase in the next few days due to Carnaval activities. <I bet especially among those who were at the coast partying.>

Propaganda política debe ser retirada (Political propaganda must be removed) – Political advertising by political parties and movements and on private property must be removed by 7/4. Only advertising for the presidential candidates who advance to the second round, Arauz y Lasso, can remain. The penalty for leaving other candidates’ advertising up can range from $14-$28.

Adecuan casas para encubrir prostitución (Houses adapted to cover up prostitution) – Even though the brothels in the zona de tolerancia (tolerance zone – your phrase for the day – who knows if some of you out there might want to use it some day.) have been closed, prostitution has not stopped. It has expanded to different parts of the city with many private houses near the zona de tolerancia converted to brothels. The problem of clandestine prostitution has increased in sectors that already had a problem such as around the Terminal Terrestre, av. Huayna Cápac in the Chola Cuencana sector, and around the Feria Libre.

And that’s all for today so Hasta ? –



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