Easter week begins with restrictions; Arauz visits Cuenca, supports anti-mining vote; Covid cases increase in Cuenca; Guayaquil adopts strict rules
Hola, Todos –
Otras cosas –
Titular – Semana Santa, tiempo para fortalecer la fe y la esperanza (Easter, a time to strengthen faith and hope) – Holy Week started with the celebration of Palm Sunday under Covid restrictions. In Cuenca, thousands attended masses organized by the Catholic church. The celebrations will continue this week with limited capacities and the prohibition of massive events, and with el Domingo de Resurrección el 4/3, restrictions will include distancing, masks, and controls for entering the churches. Similar to el Miércoles de Ceniza (Ash Wed.), churchgoers will stay in their pews to receive the blessings from the priests. <I wonder where priests and pastors are on the priority list for vaccines?> Unfortunately, there were people amontonaron (piled up – your word for the day – can you seen the main word, montón (pile or heap) in there?) outside. There will be no processions nor visits to 7 churches as was done before Covid.
Jueves Santo (Holy Thursday) will be celebrated with a mass a las 9:00 and the Lord’s Supper a las 19:00, after which the church doors will be closed. On Good Friday, there will be a celebration of the Seven Words a las 10:00; the Celebration of the Passion of Christ a las 15:00; and the Viacrucis (Way of the Cross) a las 19:00 which will not be a public event. It will be broadcast on Radio Católica and the social networks of the Arquidiócesis de Cuenca. On el sábado, el 3/3 a las 10:00, La Soledad de María (The Solitude of Mary – never heard of this one, but I’m not Catholic.) will be celebrated after which the church will be closed until 19:00 when the Easter Vigil will start. All of the events in the Cathedral, and churches in the parishes and cantons of Azuay, from 1-3/3 will be with 30% capacity.
Andrés Arauz cumplió agenda en Cuenca (Andrés Arauz accomplished his agenda in Cuenca) – Presidential candidate for the UNES alliance, Andrés Arauz, met with groups of youth and environmentalists yesterday to show his support for the results of the referendum for water in Cuenca. In the afternoon, he met with community members from Tarqui parish and families of migrants and returned migrants in the South. <I don’t think that these returned Ecuadorians were thought of as expats when they were living overseas.> Arauz also announced his support from the Confederación Nacional de Organizaciones Campesinas, Indígenas y Negras (FENOCIN).
El material electoral llegará al Azuay el próximo 3 de abril (Electoral material will arrive in Azuay on April 3) – Starting today, the Consejo Nacional Electoral (CNE) will start destributing electoral kits to the provincial delegations of the country. The provincial director of the CNE has been meeting with security forces and representatives from the cities so that everything is ready for distribution to the 270 polling places. There is a worry about the season and the state of the roads. The CNE is coordinating with the Armed Forces and local authorities about alternate routes. It is also meeting with the Ministerio de Salud Pública (MSP) about biosecurity measures including cleaning and fumigating polling places prior to the election.
Contagios se incrementaron en Auay (Contagions increased in Auay) – The data from the MSP yesterday showed an increase of 339 cases of Covid in Azuay in the last 7 days. Of these cases, 235 were in Cuenca. The week before that had 272 new cases. Azuay has 5.8% of the cases in Ecuador, at 4th place behind Pichincha with 34.8%, Guayas with 13%, and Manabí with 7.6%. <This is not a competition where we want to be number 1.> The percentage of patients testing positive after a PCR test rose from 25% to 28% in Azuay. This corresponds with an increase in aglomeraciones (crowds) which went from 20 to 32 this past weekend along with an increase in noncompliance with biosecurity measures, principally the use of masks. ICU bed occupancy is high and the MSP is asking citizens to keep up with preventive measures. <Just get that frickin mask over your nose and mouth. I’m seeing too many gringos with bare faces in crowded conditions.>
Guayaquil toma medidas para frenar contagios (Guayaquil takes measures to stop infections) – Due to the increase in Covid cases, the upcoming Holy Week holiday, the second round of elections, and the 100% occupancy of ICU beds, the COE cantonal has decided to implement 11 measures to slow the growth of Covid in Guayaquil. There will be prohibitions against consuming alcohol in public places, with sales restricted to between 6-17:00 in liquor stores, tiendas or gas stations. <Liquor sales at gas stations? Really?> Prohibitions will remain in effect against parades, contests, bingo, card games, processions, and massive spectacles in public spaces such as malecones and shopping centers until 12/4. Gatherings in private property that violate preventive protocols will be sanctioned.
Driving restrictions will apply from 0:00 to 5:00 with the exception of food suppliers, health, strategic sectors, and transport to and from the airport. <So relax, you can still hire your driver to take you to the airport for a 9 am flight.> Hours for hotels, event centers, and conventions centers will be until 22:00 with 30% capacity. Restaurants, commercial locations, movie theaters and theaters have a maximum 50% occupancy.
On el 4/3, the “Fase 1” for massive vaccinations started with plans to immunize 2 million people by el 20/5, which various experts have said is going extremely slowly. According to the Plan de Vacunación platform, as of the past 24/3, 152,526 people got their first doses and another 38,653 their second. <The article says nothing about when you, personally or even as a demographic, will get your dose. Get registered and be patient – I know – hard for gringos to be patient.>
And that’s all for today so hasta ? –