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Cuenca News

Commerce returns, legal or otherwise; Public hospitals have capacity; Airport ready to reopen despite airline uncertainty; Civil registry opens

Martes, 19/5/2020

Hola, Todos –

Actividades –
Nada.

Otras cosas –

Titular – Comercio, en amarillo; autoridades discrepan (Commerce, in yellow; authorities disagree) – The economy and unemployment are in the red numbers. Merchants have taken on the yellow light, and the citizenry is on the move in green. <Citizens seem to be ahead of their government – typical.> Yesterday, stores started an orderly return to work and the tourism sector is working on protocols that will allow a return to work similar to the construction, mechanic, crafts and industrial sectors. Paute, El Pan and Sevilla had their first day in yellow yesterday. Businesses reopened with hours until 17:00, and urban buses in Paute ran with 30% capacity per bus.

36 stores opened yesterday in Cuenca under the protocols arranged by the Cámara de Comercio, another 50 have presented their protocols and about 1,800 can use this tool to reopen their doors. Some of bio-sanitary measures include taking temperatures of both employees and customers, social distancing, ventilating the store, prohibition against sharing work materials, permanent disinfection of clothing and shoes, and use of protective equipment. The city will be in charge of making inspections to verify compliance in conjunction with the Chamber of Commerce.

Mayor Pedro Palacios signs an agreement with the Chamber of Tourism dictating protocols for the reopening of Cuenca restaurants. (El Tiempo)

The tourism sector is also writing protocols and representatives of the Asociación de Bares y Discotecas, Asociación Hotelera, y la Cámara de Turismo del Azuay signed an agreement with the city which will be sent to the COE nacional for approval. The construction, mechanics, parque industrial, and crafts workshop sectors opened in the last two weeks, and so far, there have not been any outbreaks of the virus.

Flights to restart 1/6 – CORPAC, which administers the Cuenca’s Mariscal La Mar airport confirmed it would be resuming operations el 1/6. The 3 airlines serving Cuenca, Línea Aérea del Ecuador (TAME EP), LATAM Airlines, y Aeroregional, all fly the Cuenca-Quito route. It’s not clear, however when LATAM will resume service and the government announced Tuesday that TAME will be liquidated. <Even on yellow, would you feel comfortable flying to Guayaquil?> CORPAC has an 8 point bio-security protocol developed in conjunction with the MSP and DGAC (Dirección de Aviación Civil) which has been sent to MTOP (Ministerio de Transporte y Obras Públicas). Final approval will come from the COE nacional. The airlines and renters of the commercial locations were also involved. The 8 points include preventive measures in the airport facility, controls at passenger arrivals and departures, containment of people showing coronavirus symptoms, provisions for airport vendors, requirements for CORPAC personnel, application of general measures, and external communication. The first airports to reopen will be in Quito, Guayaquil and Manta on June 1.

Registro Civil – The Registro Civil is adding 3 more locations in Azuay and Morona Santiago to do the paperwork to register births and deaths. The offices in Paute and Palora will be open lunes a viernes, and the one in Santiago de Méndez on martes y miércoles with hours from 8-16:00.

Resucitador (Resuscitator) automático – Professors from the Universidad Católica have designed and built the 4th prototype for an automatic AMBU. The goal is to build 10 of these to distribute to hospitals. Each unit takes about 3 or 4 days to build, with parts available in the city, and costs $500. The advantage of their AMBU is that it is automatic and doesn’t require a medical professional to apply pressure manually for hours on end. This frees up doctors and nurses for other work.

No collapse of hospital system in Cuenca – In answer to information on social networks about the collapse of the public medical system in Cuenca, the Coordinación Zonal 6 de Salud affirmed that no patients are being denied admission to hospitals due to a lack of critical care beds. Julio Molina, the zone coordinator explained that the availability of beds changes according to the health of the patients and the periods of hospitalization required. Over the weekend, 25 critical patients were being treated leaving 11 of the 35 critical care beds unoccupied. <I guess journalists don’t take math classes.> A donation of respiradores (ventilators? – since repiradores seems to be used for both ventilators and respirators) from a private business should arrive in Cuenca in the next few days. <Kind of like mañana, only longer?> If the number of cases increases, they will be referred to the Clínica Santa Inés and Hospital del Río, with which the public system has referral agreements. <If you time your contagion right, you could get treated at a fancy private hospital. At Santa Inés, try get room 401 or 402 which have nice views of the Cajas.>

And that’s all for today so Hasta ? –

Jeanne