Covid cases continue downward trend as ICU units are empty; Heavy rain is forecast; Theater festival returns; Catholic U. project helps poor families
Hola, Todos –
Regresa “Escenarios del Mundo” (“Scenarios of the World” Returns) – “Escenarios del Mundo” is returning not only to Cuenca, but coming to Guayaquil, Quito and Biblián with the sponsorship of the U. of Cuenca, the Spanish Embassy, PICE, Sendas, Cinterandes and private businesses. There will also be presentation to students at 4 schools that opened in the past few weeks. The theater festival will run from 23/11 to 29/11 As a preamble, there will be a series of open air performances by Cuencanan groups viernes and sábado from 18-22:00 on the stairs in the city and open to the public. Other works will be from Spain, Chile, Colombia and Ecuador, and as well as a presentation from Equatorial Guinea, Africa. Tickets will cost $12 for each play with packages of 4 plays costing $30, and 6 plays costing $40. Tickets are available at Librimundi or on line at www.meet2go.com.
The program is as follows:
23/11 – Manú, o la ilusión del tiempo (Colombia) – 20:00 – Teatro Carlos Cueva.
24/11 – El Percusionista (Guinea Ecuatorial) – 20:00 – Teatro Carlos Cueva.
25/11 – Vientos de Levante (España) – 20:00 – Teatro Carlos Cueva.
26/11 – Locuras de pandemia (Ecuador) – 20:00 – Patios del CIDAP.
27/11 – El país de la canela (Chile-Ecuador) – 20:00 – Teatro Carlos Cueva.
28/11 – Skuadrón KJ9 (Ecuador) – 11:00 – Espacio Cultural El Vecino.
– Angelote, amor mío – 18:00 – Teatro Carlos Cueva.
A parroquias llevarán “Sonrisas Navideñas” (“Christmas Smiles” to parishes) – The 2nd edition of “Sonrisas Navideñas,” organized by the Universidad Católica, was presented ayer to serve the rural population of Cuenca. Last year they brought it to 12 parishes, and this year they plan to cover 21 parishes that have the greatest need. The students bring medical and dental brigades to the parishes with the Corporación Juventud Activa del Ecuador collaborating with the organization of the event and with the Christmas celebrations. The visits will be each domingo until enero/2022, starting in Quingeo este domingo. Part of the compaign is the collection of food to be given to families in need. To donate, call 0969091913.
Alientan vuelta a las aulas (Return to the classrooms encouraged) – See article below titled Casos graves a la baja en Cuenca.
Alerta ante las fuertes lluvias (Heavy rain alert) – According to the Instituto Nacional de Meteorología e Hidrología (INAMHI), rains and lightning storms in most of the Callejón Interandino (Inter-Andean Alley)and Amazonía in Ecuador will continue to the end of the year. There is a high probability of granizo (hail – your word for the day. It’s not just a frozen treat at the Tutto Freddo) in Cuenca and Azuay. This has already been seen in the last 3 weeks with the rising of rivers and creeks, and flooding in the north of Cuenca and the Gualaceo canton. According to Jhoana Moriera, an environmental engineer, El Niño will not have much impact this year. Milton Benítez, head of the Gestión de Riesgos y Emergencias (SNGRE- Risk and Emergency Management) said that what will have an effect in 2022 is La Niña which will be marked by a lack of rain and drought, especially in cantons such as Nabón, Oña, Pucará, Santa Isabel, Giron and Cañar. SNGRE is working on a plan for the Austro (South) to measure the response capacity and water reserves the different local governments need to face the dry season.
Mapa de riesgos (Risk map) – For Eliana Fajardo, a civil engineer and risk management researcher, updating a map of soil instability in Cuenca dating from 1998-2000, is needed. There are geological faults in 10 of the 15 rural parishes in Cuenca including Sidcay, Sinincay, Nulti, Baños, Molleturo, Llacao, Quingeo, Paccha, Octoavio Cordero, and Ricaurte. A risk map done in 1998 identified 27 critial zones in both urban and rural areas. There is a type of ring around Cuenca and it is an unstable strip that need to be taken into account in land planning. <I wonder if the ciudadela Jaime Roldós is sitting on that ring?>
Reabren los comedores municipales (Municipal dining halls reopen) – The City’s Programa de Alimentación y Nutrición (Food and Nutrition Program) has reopened to bring healthy food to 150 children. The dining halls were closed during the start of the pandemic along with the closure of schools, but are reopening with food service in schools. Parents can enroll their children at the Departamento de Consejería Estudiantil (DECE) in the Zoila Esperanza Palacios school in the El Vecino barrio. Those in the La Gloria barrio can go directly to the Dirección de Desarrollo Social y Productivo at Gran Colombia 10-20 y Padre Aguirre to enroll the youngest children. To get more information, call 4134900 (ext. 2342).
Ahorro de energía (Energy savings) – The Empresa Eléctrica Regional Centro Sur (EERCS) is arranging a social media campaign to encourage energy saving. For example, it recommends the you close the refrigerator door after you use it <just like your mama told you – quit wasting all that electricity> and disconnecting your phone once it’s charged. <Cell phones probably didn’t exist when you were on the energy wasting phase of your life – back when you weren’t paying your own electric bills.>
Casos graves a la baja en Cuenca (Serious cases on the decline in Cuenca) – 15 days have passed since the last holiday for the Day of the Dead and the Independence of Cuenca, and the occupation of ICU beds by Covid patients in Cuenca has remained low. Fernando Ortega, an intensive care doctor at the IESS hospital José Carrasco Arteaga, said there are no Covid patients in the 7 ICU beds, and there are only 2 patients in the inpatient wards. In the private hospitals there were no new hospitalizations and only one patient who was admitted two weeks ago.
He said that biosecurity measures should be maintained since there has been an increase in infections with light symptoms that do not need hospitalization. He believes that vaccination has been fundamental for the current results. He encouraged people to get vaccinations and boosters since any combination of vaccines works to increase effectiveness. Because of this news, he felt this is a good time for a return to face-to-face classes when children have received both doses.
Miriam Palacios, head of public health monitoring for Zone 6, said vaccinations have been going well in Azuay with the focus on people over 5. For 5-11 year olds, there is 49% coverage for first doses and 4% for both doses. She hopes that 90% of this age group will be completely vaccinated by diciembre. Ximena Garzón, Health minister, said that 85% of each age range needs to be vaccinated for a return to school. So far, 80% of 12-17 year olds are vaccinated with the expectation that this process will be finished este domingo. She pointed out that vaccination is optional, but called for consciousness on the importance of vaccines to avoid morbidity and death.
Gualaceo vela por derecho animal (Gualaceo watches over animal rights) – Gualaceo passed an ordinance for the protection of and responsible coexistence with domestic animals which will go into effect in 3/2022. Some of the articles in the ordinance call for a census and identifying pets with collars and tags so that strays can be taken to temporary shelters. <I hope temporary means “until the forever home” and not 3 days and then the gas chamber.> It prioritizes sterilization and adoption programs and has sanctions for mistreatment of animals and irresponsible ownership.
BID presta USD 500 millones; tramita otro para crisis carcelaria (BID lends USD 500 million; another loan for prison crisis in process) – The Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo (BID – Inter-American Development Bank) approved a new $500 million loan which is in line with the objectives of the IMF program. The objective of the loan is to secure fiscal sustainability and safeguard social protection in the context of economic recovery. <Borrow, borrow, and borrow more is fiscal sustainability?> The loan has a term of 7 years with a grace period of 3 years. No interest rate has been specified, but it will be based on the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). This loan is in addition to others which BID made in the past 2 years, mostly to confront the effects of the Covid pandemic. In 2020, $111 million was disbursed and in 2021, including this loan, the amount will be over $1 billion. Another $45 million is being processed to improve social rehabilitation services and security through an investment program that will be executed by the Servicio National de Atención a Personas Adultas Privadas de Libertad (SNAI) and the Corte Constitucional to find solutions to the prison crisis.
And that´s all for today so Hasta ? –