Deficit drops as economy improves; U. of Cuenca offers health insurance; Man shoots attacker, says it was self defense; How to care for those with Covid
Hola, Todos –
En tres días elaborarán 20 prototipos de videojuegos (20 video game prototypes to be developed in three days) – The Asociación de Desarrolladores de Videoguegos Ecuatorianos (ADVEC) and OpenlabEC are presenting the 8th edition of Global Gam Jam for the public to participate in developing a videogame prototype. It’s open to anyone with knowledge in whatever field such as script writing, music or illustration. The event will be held virtually from mañana to domingo. You can sign up on the web page for OpenlabEC, https.//openlab.ec/globalgamejam. There is no cost to participate. In parallel, the organizers are presenting a series of talks which will be transmitted live on Facebook LIve of the MInisterio de Cultura and on the YouTube channel of Openlab.ec. <Happy gaming.>
La TRI no jugará sola (La TRI will not play alone) – See Thursday’s article in CHL for decision to allow spectators at Ecuador-Brazil game.
Conversatorio sobre cuidados y atención a contagiados de COVID-19 (Discussion on care and attention to COVID-19 infected patients) – The MSP organized a webinar at which the following recommendations were made about living in a household with COVID infections. Other members of the family should maintain a distance from the patient, and avoid visits to stop the propogation of the virus. Shared spaces should be well ventilated, and if possible, the patient should have their own room and bathroom, and/or should use a mask. There should be a separate vajilla (set of dishes – your word for the day – it’s on the tub of dish soap) for the patient. The panel stressed the importance of hand washing before and after food preparation, eating, and being in contact with the patient. Also after going to the bathroom <You mean there are still people who go to the bathroom and don’t wash their hands? Yuck. I guess there are – as when you’re in a restaurant, hear the toilet flush, and someone strolls out 2 seconds later? I hope they weren’t in your party and there’s not a common bread basket.>, touching garbage or playing with a pet.
The patient should have a limited number of caretakers, preferably only one, and that person should be completely vaccinated with no underlying risk factors. The patient should participate in stress reducing activities such as reading <So stay away from news from the US unless it’s football and your team is winning.> or crafts, but avoid time in front of a screen <especially stay away from comments sections>.
730 ecuatorianos detenidos en EE.UU. (730 Ecuadorians detained in the U.S.) – The US customs and Border Protection published the latest statistics on Ecuadorian citizens detained while trying to illegally cross the border. In the months of Oct., Nov., & Dec., 2021, there were 813, 610, and 730 arrests in the states of Calif., Ariz., NM, and Tex. Between Oct., 2020 and Sept., 2021, there were 97,074 Ecuadorians detained. The numbers started going down in Sept. when México restarted requiring visas from Ecuadorians.
Plan de salud prepago tiene U. de Cuenca (U. de Cuenca has a prepaid health plan) – In the middle of the pandemic, the Empresa Universitaria de Salud de la U. De Cuenca looked for a way to bring health services, at a low cost, to its students, their families and the general public at the Centro de Especialidades Médicas at the Campus Huayna Cápac. It created a prepaid heath plan called “Check me” which is the first prepaid university ambulatory health plan in Ecuador and is allied with the Confiamed S.A. company.
There are 3 plans to cover the general public, students of other institutions of higher learning, and U. of Cuenca students. The public plan costs $29.99 for the policy holder, $59.99 for the policy holder and one more person, and $89.99 for the policy holder and family. All plans include unlimited consultations in general medicine and family medicine and you can choose gynecology, pediatrics or geriatrics. <So are a lot of you geriatric gringos going to sign up?> The plans also include 5 consultations each year in the specialties of traumatology, gastroenterology, urology, cardiology and otorhinolaryngology. Treatment is from medical researchers at the U. of Cuenca who also practice at other clinics in the city.
People in this program also get discounts in other specialties that the Centro de Especialidades Médicas (Huayna Cápac y calle Juan José Flores) offers. Hours are from 8-18:00. You can sign up at WhatsApp 0962304010 or on line at www.checkme.ec.
Dueno de taller indagado por disparar a presunto delincuente (Garage owner investigated for shooting alleged offender) – The owner of a motorcycle repair shop on Vargas Machuca and Rafael María Arízaga is being investigated for shooting a man armed with a knife who entered with the intent of robbing the shop. Preliminary investigations indicate the unknown person went to the shop to intimidate the owner. Ayer, around 12:50, the owner got tired of the threats, pulled out a gun and fired 3 shots. The alleged robber was injured and taken to a hospital. The police hypothesis is that the owner acted in self-defense, and as part of the process he was detained for investigative purposes and the Prosecutor’s Office will decide if he will be sentenced to preventive prison or other substantive measures. <Now that’s why gringos don’t need to have a gun here in Ecuador. You shoot someone and you go to jail or get a new electronic bracelet – stand your ground doesn’t give you a free pass.> The police found a revolver determined to belong to the owner who did not have a permit for the gun.
Intentarán para dejar atrá los saldos en rojo (Trying to get out of the red) – The Ecuadorian economy is improving and for Simón Cueva, Ministro de Economía, one sign of this is the reduction in the deficit. In 2020, the hardest year of the pandemic, the deficit reached 7.2% of the Producto Interno Bruto (PIB – Gross Domestic Product). It decreased to 3.5% in 2021, and expected to decrease to 2% in 2022. Pres. Lasso’s goal, which would be in line with IMF projections, is to have a surplus by the end of 2025. The main reasons for the decrease in the deficit in fiscal 2021 are higher tax receipts due to reactivation of the economy, higher oil prices, lower interest payments on external debt due to renegotiations in 2020, lower current expenses for wages and salaries, and payment of inherited debts to the GADs and Social Security institutes.
Ways to keep lowering the deficit will be with higher tax collections due to the Reforma Tributaria ($1.9 billion more), reduction of the external debt burden mainly by renegotiating debt to China, more austerity in public expense mainly from salaries, and reorganizing public finances. This year’s deficit will be about $2.3 billion, a little more than 2% of the GDP.
Alianza del Pacífico pone un pie en Asia al inaugurar Cumbre (Pacific Alliance sets foot in Asia as it opens Summit) – The Pacific Alliance, composed of Colombia, Perú, México y Chile, held the XVI Summit at the Bahía Málaga naval base in which Singapore joined as an Associated State. Ecuador is also close to joining the Pacific Alliance as a full member once it signs a trade agreement with México. It already has agreements with Colombia, Perú and Chile. The trade exchange between the Pacific Alliance and Singapore was $6.1 billion in 2019, the last year with consolidated data.
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.