Covid-19 cases up by 300%; Drought forces water service cuts; Schools back online; Residents protest hydro project; Police warn of phone extortion scam
Hola, Todos –
Corresponsabilidad (Co-responsibility) <I think this concept comes more easily to a culture that still has mingas – less to someone from an Anglo-Saxon dominant culture where each individual is his own king> – At a press conference given because most cantons are in “red,” Andrea Bersosa said that the pandemic is getting serious. She said that the behavior of the virus this week will be decisive as will be the behavior of the citizenry. If we keep going to massive events and social gatherings such as weddings, dinners, and reunions, the virus will continue to increase. Current peaks are 300% more than at the beginning of the pandemic, so please observe health measures such as capacity limits.
In just the last week, there have been 2,200 reported cases in Zone 6. Current general hospital occupancy in the hospital “Vicente Corral Moscoso” is at 87% with ICUs at 83%. At the “José Carrasco Arteaga” IESS hospital, regular beds are at 58% occupied and ICU beds at 72%. Spaces will be expanded to guarantee treatment. <But can they also increase medical workers who are out with Covid? A harder problem to solve.> Private hospitals are at 33% in general hospitalization and at 23% in UCU beds. Pediatric beds area at 100% with one patient on the waiting list. Bersosa said this was a situation no one ever wanted to see so please respect the health measures and get vaccinated which is the best weapon to counter the virus.
According to statistics, vaccinations reduce the risk of hospitalization by 60%, getting put into an ICU bed by 80%, and the danger of dying by over 90%. The most vaccinated part of the population are people over 40 with 90% having had both doses and over 60% with a 3d dose. Under this age, 86% have a 1st dose and 76% a 2nd. For children, 85% have had 1st doses and 66% their second.
Resoluciones del COE (COE Resolutions) – The Cantonal COE made the following resolutions:
1. Reduce capacity limits to 30% in restaurants, movies, theaters, gyms, swimming pools, financial entities, and Municipal offices..
2. Suspend pilot plans currently being applied in establishments such as bars, discos, centros de tolerencias and entertainment for those over 18 years old for 15 days. <I guess some of you will have to renew your acquaintance with your hand.>
3. Exhort private businesses and locations to ask customers for vaccine cards in order to enter the business. <If those of you who are vaccinated would prefer not to share space with the unvaxxed, you could always tell the business if you saw someone go in without showing a card, and therefore you will not shop/eat there, thank you. With up to 90% vaccinated, how many of these reactions do you think it would take for business to get serious about asking for a vaccine card from everyone?>
4. Maintain teleworking at the City without affecting service to the citizenry, and use the Cuenca en Línea app and other digital channels to do city business.
5. Ask citizens to complete their vaccinations and comply with all health measures in their activities.
6. Arrange for the city to intensify operations to control the measures called for in the current ordinances.
7. Maintain the suspension of granting authorization for public events and those with large numbers of attendees.
8. Ask the users of public transportation to carry their vaccination cards for all modes of transportation for to eventual random controls carried out by the control entities. <I wonder if the masked majority of bus riders would ever get upset enough to throw riders without vaccine cards off the buses?>
9. The Terminal Terrestre will have the following procedures to get on intra and interprovincial buses:
9a. The passenger needs to present their vaccine card and cedula to buy a ticket at the ticket windows.
9b. The cards can also be verified through the MSP website on the bus itself, and EMOV EP will conduct the corresponding control operations.
Educación a distancia y virtual (Distance and virtual education) – Starting ayer, the private and public educational systems will return to distance and virtual classes due to the exponential increase in Covid cases in Ecuador. This measure will last until el 21/1. At 15:00 on el 21/1, the National COE and ministries of Health and Education will announce if distance and virtual classes will continue, or if there will be changes.
Last week, all classes were suspended so parents could take their children to get vaccinated. Ministerio de Educación data shows that in Azuay, 97% of 5-11 year olds and 96% of 12-17 year olds have gotten their 1st doses. 86% of 5-11 year olds and 89% of 12-17 year olds have gotten their 2nd doses. The percentages in Azuay are among the highest in the country. It is hoped that they will rise this week, and it is recommended that kids stay at home and only leave the house to get their shots. For this week, avoid visiting, physical contact, and sports. To date, there have been cases have been registered in 134 students and 91 teachers in Cuenca. The suspended days, from the 10-14/1, will be made up at the end of the school year. For now the school year calendar will continue as planned at the beginning and the second quarter will start el 7/2.
Sequía provoca cortes de agua (Drought causes water cuts) – Some 30,000 people served by the Junta Administradora de Agua Potable (JAAP) Proyecto Nero are having water shut offs. It is the largest community water system and serves the southern rural parishes of Turi, Baños, El Valle, y Paccha. An inspection of the river and streams that feed the system showed they do not have the flow to guarantee a normal supply to the 8.000 families living in 43 commmunities. Customers are being asked to conserve as much as possible and only use water for basic domestic needs. During this drought, water will cut off between 11-17:00 in 20 sectors. For another 16 sectors, there will only be water service from 5-14:00. The Junta Administradora de Agua Potable y Saneamiento (JAAPYS) de Baño with 7.900 users is the 2nd largest in Cuenca, and has also asked for responsible water consumption. The president of the Junta has asked people not to wash their cars or irrigate, reduce their shower time, and run washers with full loads.
Rechazan proyecto hidroeléctrico (Hydroelectric project rejected) – Residents in San Joaquín closed the vía Barabón-Sustag-Soldados at the Liguina sector to reject the construction of the Proyecto Hidroelécrico Soldados Yanuncay (PHSY) which will be built by the Empresa Electro Generadora del Austro (Elecaustro) at a cost of of $88 million. The protesters requested the presence of the Governor of Azuay, Matías Abad, the mayor of Cuenca, Pedro Palacios, the prefect of Azuay, Cecilia Méndez, and environmental authorities. They opened the road only to emergency vehicles and milk trucks. They asked that the construction machinery be removed. They also asked for the compliance with the steps of free prior consultation and information to the communities about the influence of the project which is in the Biocorredor del Yanuncay.
Extorsionadores actúan con mensajes de texto y llamadas (Extortionists act with text messages and calls) – The Policía Nacional is warning people about cases of extorsion through phone calls and text messages, most commonly on WhatsApp. The extortionists ask for money in exchange for security <sounds like a protection racket> and let the recipient of the call know that they are being called by a crime organization. The caller also can have personal information about the victim. If you receive such a call or message <That’s assuming you know enough Spanish to realize you’re being victimized – sometime ignorance is bliss and protection.> do not give the caller any more information and report it to the Unidad Antisecuestros y Extorsión (UNASE). <For starters, don’t brag about your new $80,000 car on line or how much trouble you’re having getting money out of your big, fat CD.>
Descuentos y compras –
El Mercurio – 14 liter water purifier with ceramic filters, 5 levels of filtration with minerals and an additional one with stone – $18.95 at any El Mercurio office.
And that’s all for today so Hasta ? –