Covid surge feared from election and Carnaval; Feb. vaccine deliveries will fall short; Yaku is satisfied with Azuay vote count; Catholic faithful get sprinkled
Hola, Todos –
No hay nada.
Otras cosas –
Titular – Hospitales están en máxima alerta (Hospitals are on high alert) – The crowds in Cuenca during Carnaval included parties, family gatherings, and trips to the beach which were followed by long lines outside of polling stations on voting day. These events have doctors fearing an increase in Covid cases in the coming days. Currently, ICU beds are at 84% occupancy in the Vicente Corral Moscoso hospital and 90% in the IESS hospital where Covid patients in critical condition went from 28 to 32.
Last weekend, emergency calls to attend to Covid patients rose from 6 to 17 per day. These numbers do not include those who were infected during Carnaval and who will be showing symptoms and complications in the next 15 days. A doctor was less concerned with infections from voting since large crowds weren’t seen at the polls, nor were there large parties or events. <Voting doesn’t seem to be an event where people go to parties, especially since the weekend is dry.> She said that it was good that large events were not a problem in Cuenca as they were on the coast which was a holiday destination for many Cuencanos. <So we exported our super spreaders to the beach?> She also said that if you went on a trip where you weren’t complying with biosecurity measures and you come down with a cough, fever, or fatigue, you should self isolate until you can get a Covid test.
El CNE en el Azuay no tuvo reclamos desde Pachakutik (The CNE in Azuay had no complaints from Pachakutik) – Vote counting in Azuay finished without complaints from the participating political organizations. <Why would Pachakutik complain? If Azuay’s results were duplicated nationally, Yaku would be our next president.>
ANT pasa a un nuevo local (ANT moves to a new location) – Starting mañana, the Cuenca offices of the Agencia Nacional de Tránsito (ANT) will move to San Joaquín, into a property on Pedro Córdova y General Escandón that belonged to the Coopera. The building is currently under the charge of the Insittuto de Economía Popular y Solidaria which delivered it to ANT for the next 100 years. <Who even knows what transit is going to look like in 100 years. Back to shanks’s mare?>
Juan Carlos Aguirre, the director of ANT in Azuay explained that the agency has moved 3 times since 2008, confusing people, and this permanent location will make it easier for its clients. ANT Azuay issues an average of 3,000 drivers’ licenses each month at its Cuenca, Gualaceo and Girón offices.
Pablo Salamea, an attorney specializing in transit, said that until 30/6/2021, drivers whose licenses expired after 1/1/2020 cannot be fined. The condition is that drivers must present proof of original payment; a printed appointment from the ANT web page; and the expired document or a report of the lost or stolen license. <So there’s your get out of jail free card if your license is expired.>
Fieles católicos entran en periodo de cuaresma (Catholic faithful start Lent) – Yesterday, Catholics observed Ash Wednesday differently from usual. The ritual this year <For obvious reasons> was touchless. Seating observed social distancing, and ashes were sprinkled on top of worshipers’ heads instead of drawn on foreheads.
Cuenca fue el cantón azuayo con más emergencias durante del feriado (Cuenca was the Azuayan canton with the most emergencies during the holiday) – During the Carnaval holiday from viernes, 12/2 to martes, 16/2, ECU 911 responded to 4,494 emergencies with 3,465 or 77% in Azuay, and 1,002 or 23% in Cañar. In Azuay, there were 2,762 calls from Cuenca. In Azuay, 59% calls had to do with citizen safety, 15% with health management, and 13% with municipal services.
Tres obras sanitarias como compensación (Three water projects as compensation) – In Pucará, over 1,000 residents in the communities of Sarayunga, Chilcaplaya, y La Cascada will benefit from 3 sewer projects. The projects totalling $1.3 million will be paid for with resources from compensation for being in the zone of influence of the Central Hidroeléctrica Minas-San Francisco. The city of Pucará awarded the construction contract last week, and will sent the documentation to CELEC SUR (Corporación Eléctrica del Ecuador) which will transfer the money to the city so that work can start.
Un lote de 16,380 dosis de vacunas llegaron al Ecuador (A batch of 16,380 doses of vaccines arrived in Ecuador) – A Latam flight which was met by neither authorities nor press, brought 16,380 doses of Pfizer vaccinations this week. 4.266 of them will be second doses, and 12,114 will vaccinate people in phase 0 or the pilot plan. This phase will include medical staff attending to Covid patients in 99 hospitals and seniors in 18 centros geriátricos. This new remesa (consignment – our word for the day) will be distributed in Bolívar, Carchi, Chimborazo, Esmeraldas, Guayas, Imbabura, Los Ríos, Azuay, Cañar, Pichincha, Manabí, Santa Elena, Loja, Santo Dominto de los Tsáchilas y Sucumbíos. The remaining 9 provinces will get doses in the next shipment.
Although in enero, the ministro de Salud reported that 86,000 doses would arrive by the end of febrero, the new schedule calls for 42,000 doses. By the 4th week of abril, there should be 395,570 doses in Ecuador. Currently there is no information about when the 6 million doses offered by Pfizer, and the 12 million from Astrazeneca Oxford and the Iniciativa Covax Facility will arrive. With those, 60% of the population could be vaccinated by the end of 2021. <I’ve heard the phrase “vaccine nationalism” for rich countries getting theirs and the h**l with the rest of the world. I’d be harsher and call it vaccine colonialism or imperialism.>
Consternación por la muerte de Luis Chocho (Dismay over the death of Luis Chocho) – Luis Chocho, a sports legend in Azuay and the nation, died of Covid-19. He discovered and trained Olympic speedwalkers including Jefferson Pérez, Ecuador’s only gold medalist.
And that´s all for today so Hasta ? –
Editor’s note: Jeanne’s Periodico is a translated digest of news from the Cuenca daily newspaper El Mercurio. If details, such as event dates and times, do not appear in the translation, they did not appear in the newspaper (please don’t ask her for them). The text between the carrots, or guillemets (< … >), is Jeanne’s personal opinion and not part of the news translation.