The Cuenca Emergency Operations Committee has tightened Covid-19 health protocols, including the reduction of hours private vehicles are allowed on city streets. Beginning Monday, April 19, cars can circulate only from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. Previously, the restriction applied after 11 p.m.
In addition, the council decided Sunday night to prohibit all athletic games, competitions and tournaments and ordered the closure of public and private sports facilities. Gyms and sports training academies are allowed to remain open with enhanced biosecurity measures.
The driving restrictions and athletic competition prohibition will remain in place for 30 days at which time they will be reevaluated. The council also banned social events, including weddings, receptions and parties at social clubs for a period of 15 days.
Cuenca Mayor Pedro Palacios said the new measures are necessary due to an increase of hospital admissions in the city. The intensive care units at the public and Social Security hospitals are currently over-capacity and private hospitals say they are at 90 percent capacity. Palacios said the number of new Covid cases has not risen but he worries that the city could soon see the surge that other cities in the country are experiencing.