Cuenca-Guayaquil highway is in emergency; Hospitals resume pre-Covid routines; Ecuador, China discuss trade, cooperation; Ecuadorians stranded in Mexico
Hola, Todos –
Pérdidas económicas (Economic losses) – The Ministerio de Transporte y Obras Públicas (MTOP – Ministry of Transport and Public Works) declared an emergency at km 49 after 20 days of constant slides. Transport Minister Marcelo Cabrera said there were specialists in the area to look for an alternative and MTOP is working on geological, geotechnical and hydraulic studies; and processing paperwork for flights between Cuenca and Guayaquil. He will be meeting with Pres. Lasso to get funding for the emergency declaration which will allow direct contracting for the work. <Direct contracting would be a non-transparent process to select the contractor? Isn’t that a recipe to give the work to somebody’s brother-in-law at inflated prices?> The vía Cuenca-Molleturo-El Empalme is vital for commerce, tourism and gastronomy, adding 2 hours to travel between the coast and Cuenca. <Get ready for seafood, banana,and who knows what other prices to go up.>
Protocoles marcarán año escolar (Protocols will mark the school year) – A new school year starts tomorrow in the Sierra and Amazonía with a hybrid teaching model. In Azuay, 280 schools have had their Plan Institucional Continuidad Educativa (PICE – Institutional Educational Continuity Plan) approved for a progressive return to classes, but few will use that permission due to several factors. Schools need to take transport, the number of returning students, and biosecurity measures into account. In Cuenca, 160 schools have approved PICEs, but only a few private schools will reopen for face-to-face instruction.
There still hasn’t been a decision for urban public schools to open,but rural schools are planning a gradual return. Some of these schools such as in Victoria del Portete y Quingeo, were open for a test of a hybrid model in junio. Parents at these schools will decide if they want their children to attend in person classes, and if they do, schools will reopen in mid-septiembre. Schools will use the plans they developed in junio with students divided into groups so that some go from 8-10:00 and others from 10-12:00. Teachers and administrators will be at the schools every day.
At the Colegio Alemán, 95% of the students <or their parents who have run out of wine> want to return to the classrooms and the school will use the experience from in person classes from the last school year. The school increased the number of bathrooms, created zones for eating, made individual desks, and marked off areas for different grades. They are organizing rotating attendance with some kids at school and some at home to meet capacity limits. Different grades will use different entrances, and vans have their own entrance.
Denuncian discriminación y maltrato (Discrimination and mistreatment reported) – A group of about 60 Ecuadorians including 20 from Azuay were permanently detained at the Aeropuerto Internacional de Monterrey in México since last miércoles y jueves. Adults, children, and teens have been sleeping on the floor without distancing. Also they do not have sufficient food or water or space for personal hygiene. They have barely been able to contact their families in Ecuador. Some have called the Ecuadorian consulate in Monterrey, which is looking into the situation.
Cédulas y pasaportes solo con turnos (Cédulas y pasaportes only with appointments) – As of ayer, the Registro Civil in Cuenca is issuing cédulas and passports only to those who have made an appointment on-line at www.registrocivil.gob.ec. This has cut down on the length of lines, and authorities hope it will avoid the presence of processors. <Hopefully, this will not include facilitators or a lot of gringos with minimal Spanish skills will be SOL.> The offices using this new system are El Batán y San Blas in Cuenca, with another office in Quito and 2 in Guayaquil starting next week. To get an appointment, go to the website and enter your cedula number and a password. Then pick if you want cedula or passport services, pick the location of the office, and the form of payment (on-line or in person), and generate the payment order. If you pay on line, go straight to scheduling your appointment. If you pay at an affiliated banking institution, make your payement and then go back on-line to make your appointment.
Analizan otra dinámica de vacunación COVID-19 (Another COVID-19 vaccination dynamic analyzed) – Starting today, he Ministerio de Salud Público (MSP) had planned to prioritize 2nd doses to meet the goal of vaccinating 9 million in 100 days. As of Tuesday, 8.7 million have been fully vaccinated. Fausto Idrovo, Zone 6 health coordinator, said that when a return to giving first doses starts will depend on the flow of vaccines in the country. These vaccinations will probably restart el12/9 or earlier. Vaccinations for minors under 15 will probably also start in septiembre. <I bet you know parents who are eagerly waiting for their kids to be eligible for vaccines.> Idrovo also said that their objectives are being met as evidenced by the drop in infections which is permitting reorganizing different hospitals to return to treating other pathologies. He called for citizens to continue biosecurity measures and pointed out that being vaccinated does not mean that the pandemic has been controlled.
The Department of Communication of the Zone 6 Health Coordination said it is continuing to vaccinate people from 18-60 with the one dose Can Sino in 6 centers: Coliseo Bicentenario de la UDA, Poliforo de la Universidad Católica de Cuenca, Colegio María Auxiliadora (Salesianas), UPS, Unidad Educativa César Dávila Andrade y unidad Educativa del Milenio Sayausí. This vaccine was initially intended for use in remote areas.
Primer transplante multiorgánico en HJCA fue exitoso (First multi-organ transplant at HJCA was successful) – A 58 year old man succcessfully had a liver and kidney transplant at the Hospital de Especialidades José Carrasco Arteaga (IESS) and was discharged after a 10 hour surgery and 1 month of recuperation. When he entered the hospital his body was swollen and he was in a terminal phase. He had been diagnosed with metabolic cirrhosis and kidney failure, and had been on a waiting list for about 4 months. The organs were obtained with the help of the Instituto Nacional de Donación y Transplante de Órganos, Tejidos y Células (INDOT – National Institute for Organ, Tissue and Cell Donation and Transplantation) of the Ministerio de Salud Pública. The body of the donor was in Quito and a team of 3 surgeons from the HJCA went to remove and bring them back to Cuenca. There were over 20 professionals in the operating room.
Retoman el servicio de emergencia y consulta en el Hospital Regional (Resumption of emergency service and consultation at the Regional Hospital) – The decrease in COVID patients at the Hospital Vicente Corral Moscoso has started a progressive return of emergency and outside consulting. The emergency room was turned into a contingency area for COVID last marzo and will be made into a space for external consults for patients with other pathologies. Certain other specialties will be in the Centro de Salud Nro.1 – Pumapungo. This week, specialties that had been suspended witll be gradually reintroduced.
Repudio por el asesinatode oso perezoso y águila (Repudiation for the murder of sloth and eagle) – 2 men have been accused and are being investigated in the killing of wild life. One captured a sloth and beat it to death. He is being investigated for cruelty to animals. The other is accused of capturing and killing a harpy eagle. Environmental protection entities are calling for the full weight of the law to be applied, and called for people to reject such actions and protect the country’s biodiversity. On 28/8, a yaguarundi was run over in El Oro and brought to the Bioparque Amaru in Cuenca where it died from its injuries.
Ecuador y China analizan firma de un TLC (Ecuador and China analyze signing of an FTA) – Presidents Guillermo Lasso of Ecuador and Xi Jinping of China met virtually. Lasso thanked Xi for china’s help in the vaccination plan, and proposed starting negociations for a Free Trade Agreement. He proposed analyzing new forms of economic cooperation to improve the conditions of the financing from China to Ecuador and highlighted his support of Chinese investment in sectors that are of interest in the development of Ecuador <Mining and oil extraction? What? — I’m too suspicious and cynical?>. Secretary of State Mauricio Montalvo pointed out that on the part of Xi, there is the will to implement actions to combat illegal fishing, especially around the Galápagos. Xi Jinping and Lasso also discussed the possibility of Ecuador joining China’s “Silk Road” initiatives in the areas of health care and digital technology.
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.