Drought turns rivers into streams; National hospital report; Local prefects have Covid; Illegal mining investigators attacked; Students suffer in pandemic
Hola, Todos –
Nivelación, prioritaria (Leveling, a priority) – Since the declaration of the health emergency in Ecuador, primary and secondary students have been in a state of vaivén (back and forth – our word for the day – va-y-ven – go and come) with classes on screens, handouts on paper and then a slow return to the classroom, then a suspension of in person classes. The last 2 years of classes have been a vicious circle, and according to UNICEF monitoring, there are children who still haven’t come back to school, intrafamiliar violence in the homes, and a delay in learning. With this reality at the forefront, after a month of classes at home, students returned to classrooms el 22/1 with the permission of their parents. This has happened in some cases such as the “Herlinda Toral” school where some 200 students of the 2,000 that are enrolled returned.
In spite of the number of infections, there are students who want to come back to school, such as students in Bachillerato who need to prepare for the “Transformar” exam that will give them access to higher education. Students who want to go to public university need to meet a certain number of points in the exam. In general, students need to pass their final exams for the first semester.
Comportamiento del virus se refleja en las medidas (Virus behavior is reflected in the measures) – See Tuesday’s article in CHL for story.
Habilitada la página web del IESS para validaciones (IESS web page available for validations) – Starting el 24/1, the IESS set up a web page at www.iess.gov.ec for citizens to validate their medical certificate for 1-30 days of rest (sick days?>) so that they do not need to do it in person. If you prefer to stand in line <with a bunch of sick people> you still can. <I don’t imagine there are many of you who have an employer you need to give a doctor’s excuse to. Your spouse doesn’t count.> The certificates, stamped by the doctor can be downloaded. As of ayer, new areas have been set up to triage patients with repiratory symptoms at the CAAM (old IESS hospital) on La República y Huayna Cápac.
MSP informa sobre situación epidemiológica (MSP reports on epidemiological situation) – The MSP (Ministerio de Salud Pública) reported on the Covid situation in the country for the period from 29/2/2020 to 23/1/2022. To date, there have been 681,382 confirmed cases, 1,576,113 ruled out cases, and 130,101 probable cases. Deaths so far in 2022 were 153 confirmed and 25 probables; in 2021 there were 15,490 confirmed deaths and 8,303 probables; and first year of the pandemic, 2020, saw 8,757 confirmed deaths and 1,601 probables for a national total of 34,329.
Nationally, hospital bed occupancy is as follows:
La sequía se refleja en los ríos (Drought is reflected in the rivers) – The Junta Administrativa of the Agua Potable Tarqui Victoria del Portete to the south of Cuenca is asking ratepayers to use water responsibly, don’t irrigate fields, and only use water for human consumption since the amount of water coming from the río Irquis has diminished. This district supplies water to 17 communities. ETAPA reported that the flows in the 4 rivers in Cuenca have dropped and are asking consumers to use water for domestic needs so that water shutoffs can be avoided. The Baños water district which serves 7,900 clients and is the 2nd largest in Cuenca is also reporting a scarcity of water due to lack of rain. The district is recommending not washing cars or irrigating, and reducing time in the shower and running washers with full loads. It’s water comes from the río Minas which is also running low.
Piden incorporar un área de parqueo (Iincorporation of a parking area requested) – Neighbors and property owners in the plaza El Otorongo have asked the Municipio de Cuenca for a parking lot. The area is a tourist attraction connecting the San Sebastián and San Roque parishes, and has a large variety of businesses. Since last year they have been meeting with the city and that there is a positive feasibility study. <Trying to park along 3 de Noviembre is a hassle since you have to make a U-turn now that there’s no left turn from the Puente del Vado.>
Deslave incomunica a comunas de Chaucha (Landslide cuts off communities in Chaucha) – A landslide that occured 2 weeks ago has affected connectivity between the community of Zhin Alto with the Nueva Esperanza, Agua Rica, and Llano Largo sectors so that residents opened a foot and horse path to be able to bring their projects out and get supplies in. It is dangerous because of continued rock falls. The director of Vialidad del Gobierno Provincial del Azuay said that they are bringing in a tractor from San Fernando to clear the 2.000 cubic meter slide. He said because of the complexity of getting into Chaucha, the tractor should arrive today and then clear the slide in 4 days. <The picture shows the original “road” which looks like it’s one lane and dirt and maybe just wide enough for a tractor. Maybe that’s why there are so many drunk long distance bus drivers. They need the liquid courage to tackle roads like that – narrow with a steep, steep slope on the downhill side.>
Prefectos del Azuay y Cañar con COVID (Prefects of Azuay and Cañar have COVID) – The prefect of Cañar, Bayron Pacheco, announced that he has Covid, but is continuing to work remotely. He took the opportunity to ask citizens to get vaccinated and maintain biosafety protocols. The Gobierno Provincial del Azuay announced that prefect Cecilia Méndez was diagnosed with Covid and is also working remotely. Her public schedule has been suspended and she will continue face-to-face activities once she clears quarantine.
Califican de “terrorista” atentado en Zaruma (Attack in Zaruma described as “terrorist” attack) – An explosion that destroyed a house and car belonging to an official in the Ministerio de Energía was called a terrorist attack by the ministra de Gobierno, Alexandra Vela. The official was working on closing the sinkhole. Vela said the Prosecutor’s Office is investigating but it does not know who was responsible. She did note that there is a confrontation between legal and illegal miners. She said the official and other employees of the Ministerio de Energía and the Army Corps of Engineers who are working to close the sinkhole and tunnels have been threatened and there is additional security is being provided. <Seems like some miner decided since he couldn’t use the explosives for mining, he might as well blow up the official’s house.>
And that’s all for today so Hasta ? –