Construction reactivation rules are set, ETAPA customer fraud alert, Doctors and nurses face isolation, Contagion at Narancay market

Apr 27, 2020 | 19 comments

Lunes, 27/4/2020

Hola, Todos –
Actividades – Nada.

Otras cosas –

Titular – Azuay se niega a dejar aislamiento (Azuay refuses to leave isolation) – See Saturday’s CHL for story.

Trueque (barter) – The city governments of Sígsig in Azuay and Gualquiza in Morona Santiago completed their 2nd exchange in the “Tureque Solidario” project. The exchange will happen every two weeks. Gualaquiza supplies plantain, yuca, banana, chonta, papaya, camote, cane and more. In exchange, Sígsig sends apples, cabbage, squash, parsley, cilantro, onions and more. The growers supplement their diets with non-local produce, and part of the products is used to make up baskets to donate to people in need.

Police fine street vendor for failure to wear a mask. (El Mercurio)

Estafas (fraud/ con/ swindle – your word for the day) – ETAPA is alerting internet users about supposed promotions for new phones and the like. Don’t click on the links and don’t share your personal data such as PIN numbers or banking or credit card information on emails that appear to be from ETAPA. The emails will appear to come from service providers and other on-line entities that transact business on line.

Violence in the home – The Policía Nacional has a national compaign, “Convivencia sin violencia” (Living together without violence). The violence can take the form of physical, psychological, sexual and economic mistreatment by a family member against a woman or other family members. Victims can call 911 or 1800 335486. After making the report, police will come to the house, verify, will request that the aggressor leave the property, and take them to the house of another family member or a location selected by the police. Victims will receive medical or psychological treatment and police officers will patrol the area so the victims will feel safe and to avoid new aggressions.

Agrokawsay – This business of the Prefectura del Azuay delivered supplies, materials, seeds and seedlings to small growers in the Tarqui and Victoria del Portete Parishes and Barabón in San Joaquín Parish. Seeds for cabbage, lettuce, brocolli, cauliflower and other varieties were delivered. There is a demand not only in the rural areas but in Cuenca where there are families that want to start garden plots for their own consumption.

Construction – A pilot plan to reactivate construction as well as suppliers and hardware stores is ready. The guidelines for 5 private and 19 public projects in Quito and Guayas have been established for a resumption of work el lunes of next week. Employers should maintain telecommuting for employees who do not need to be physically present and they may not require people over 60, with disabilities, lung problems, chronic diseases, pregnant or lactating mothers, or caretakers of patients with chronic or catastrophic diseases to return to work. <Kind of moot since as of 4/5, people over 60 will be on mandatory lock down anyway. Look for the Ministerio del Gobierno requirements for “Del Aislamiento al Distanciamiento Semáforo Mayo.”>

Workers on job sites will have a staggered work week: M-F, Tu-Sat or W-Sun. Hours will also be staggered to avoid accumulations of people. Workers should be able to wash their hands every three hours and apply alcohol afterwards. There will also be no abrazos o besos <I don’t think I’ve ever seen kissing between construction workers, though. Not even those of opposite sexes.> and a minimum 2 meter social distance. Workers will need to provide masks and safety goggles. Employers have the obligation to provide transportation to every worker to and from their homes to the job site.

Doctors and nurses – People on the outside do not see what goes on inside the “sala covid, zona cero, sala de contagiados” (Covid ward, ground zero, infectious ward). The medical staff working in hospitals and with coronavirus patients remain anonymous. They are working 12 hours shifts encased, sweating and itching in protective suits. They go from the hospital to a “home,” in isolation. Many have rented rooms or apartments, and some doctors’ families have moved out to live with other family members so that the person working with COVID patients will not infect their own families. One doctor said, “I feel lonely. It’s not the same talking in front of a camera. I get to my house and I’m alone. My family has left.” She also said she is so tired of wearing the protective suits at the hospital. <And here I am complaining about feeling smothered in a simple mask.>

Sunday’s news –

Titular – Narancay cierra por 37 contagios (Narancay closes due to 37 infections) –
Rapid tests found 37 coronavirus cases at the plataforma de Narancay among the wholesalers from the Feria Libre who were relocated when El Arenal closed on 6/4. The plataforma de Narancay will be closed for a week and wholesale activities suspended. More testing started today and it is hoped there will be 1,000 done by el jueves to see which vendors need to be within the provincial epidemiological containment. This test is 80% accurate. The Dirección de Mercados is thinking of allowing access to the wholesalers and distributors who supply the other mercados. The plan also seeks to keep retail vendors off the platform to avoid crowds and chaos. The chaos prompted neighbors to break curfew la noche de viernes and place obstacles to keep the wholesalers’ trucks from parking on the streets. Neighbors’ fears of massive infections were realized when the results of the tests came in.

Mayor Palacios indicated that there were three options being considered for relocating the wholesalers, none of which included returning them to either Narancay or the Feria Libre since both need to be disinfected before they can be used again. The 3 options were the estadio Alejandro Serrrano Aguilar, the the industrial plataforma in Chaullayacu, or schools that are currently empty. <Putting the wholesalers in the stadium will be like game day every day only with bigger vehicles tying up traffic and looking for parking spaces.> One city councilperson suggested reactivating parrochial ferias to spread the retail vendors around, reduce crowding, help the local economies, and not take spaces that weren’t intended for sales locations.

Criticism about leaving lock down – The WHO and other experts don’t recommend lifting the lock down for fear of unleashing another wave of infections and deaths in the country. The WHO established 6 items countries need to accomplish before leaving quarantine measures, and Ecuador has not done any of these. A clinical epidemiologist and university research director said if you use the experience of other countries such as China and Germany, you’ll see they lifted restrictions after 12 weeks of quarantine, and not 6 as is intended here.

The 6 items are control of transmission which can be done after massive testing, and Ecuador has conducted only 45,857. This is related to the 2nd item which involves the health system’s capacity to locate and quarantine each case. The 3d item is a special protocol to avoid contagion in the elderly, the most vulnerable group. The 4th item is that businesses should have sufficient physical space and contract with experts and doctors. <Like the vast majority of businesses – Mom and Pop internet cabinas, restaurants, hairdressers, etc. – are ever going to be able to do that.> The 5th item is avoiding importing cases which Ecuador has not been able to do. People who came in on humanitarian flights and tested positive were able to escape quarantine. Item 6 is that the populace is totally educated and promises to abide with the new norms. But people don’t know how to use the masks and gels, don’t understand social distancing, and are out during curfew. And they will be out with no controls after 4/5. <Except those over 60 who have to stay inside until the 31st.>

And that’s all for today so hasta ? –



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