Economic forecast improves; Illegal bus routes are suspended; Pandemic could end soon, doctor says; Crack-down on illegal mining in Zaruma planned
Hola, Todos –
Ómicron se expande; ley todavía en ciernes (Omicron expands; law still in the making) – See today’s afternoon story in CHL.
“Podemos estar hablando de los últimos episodios de la pandemia” (“We may be talking about the last episodes of the pandemic.”) – Hernán Ugilez, a cuencano doctor who is the head of immunology and allergies at the the general hospital del Norte de Guayaquil Los Ceibos, was interviewed about the progress of the Covid pandemic. His view is optimistic since when the lethality of a virus approaches zero, it passes from a pandemic to an endemic. When this happens, the virus will circulate with little impact and can reach the end of the pandemic when the speed of contagions is very rapid and the curve of contagion is vertical. Once it reaches the top of the curve and runs out of more people to infect, then the descent is equally fast.
To determine mathematically if a pandemic is close to ending, the índice de legalidad (case fatality rate) is measured and the closer it is to zero, the better. He personally believes that things will return to normal in less than a half year. <I certainly hope what he believes will come to pass.> Dr. Urgilez recommends continuing with vaccinations as the best way to combat different infectious diseases. As for mask using, he mentioned that there are cultures such as in Japan, where people use masks when they have a cold or flu to protect the rest of the community. <And why is it so hard for some people to understand that protecting the rest of the community is a good thing? Unless they really believe that no one matters but themself, and people who are weaker should just die.>
Por primera vez matriculados 100,820 (For first time, 100,820 registered) – Yesterday was the last day you could register your car for 2021. 2022 registrations start el 14/1 when the SRI also will start receiving paperwork. On line registration is at www.emov.gob.ec. Between enero y ayer, 100,820 vehicles were registered in Cuenca – the first time it has topped 100,000. In all of 2020, 87,581 vehicles were registered. In 2021, 121,840 cars and motos went through the Revisión Técnica Vehicular (RTV – technical inspection). The fine for not registering your car in time is $50, and the fine for not getting the vehicle inspection is $20. In enero, vehicles with all numbers of plates can get registered. In febrero, the normal schedule resumes so plates ending in 1 can be registered; in marzo, plates ending in 2; etc. until noviembre when plates ending in 0 can be registered. People who did not register their vehicles during the year can do it in diciembre.
COE National se reunió en el cantón Zaruma (COE National met in Zaruma canton) – The Comité de Operaciones de Emergencia (COE) Nacional met with authorities from El Oro to evaluate actions taken after the State of Emergency declared by the president. Armed Forces representatives confirmed that they have intensified operations against illegal mining. Fredy Castillo, teniente coronel (lieutenant colonel) and chief of operations said that on one of the last operations when they went into the San Antonio mine, they seized firearms including homemade 9 caliber submachine guns, a homemade 38 caliber revolver and 3 feeders. They also seized explosives. <So I guess if you hear miners under your house it’s dangerous to bang on the floor. You might get gunfire in return.>
Comisión Penitenciaria analiza problemáticas de cárcel de Turi (Penitentiary Commission analyzes problems at Turi prison) – The Comisión de Pacificación y Diáloto Penitenciario came to Cuenca to get first hand information about the problems facing prisoners in Turi. <Like maybe getting caught in a riot and killed when all you did was drive on bald tires?> The objective is to identify issues to reinforce strategies to improve social rehabilitation.
Notifican suspensión de rutas y frecuencias dada de manera ilícita (Notification of suspension of routes and frequencies granted illegally) – The Agencia Nacional de Tránsito (ANT) started notifying transport operators who benefitted from irregular approval of routes and frequencies given out in the first 6 months of the pandemic that these approvals will be withdrawn. ANT director, Adrián Castro, said that 64 operators got approvals for 302 routes and 1,632 frequencies which will be suspended. Routes that were authorized before the pandemic will not be affected. Castro said the withdrawal of the permits will be done in spite of threats received. <I’m thinking someone paid money for these extra routes and is now pissed they’re being taken away.>
The unions of transportistas supported the suspension of the illegally granted routes and frequencies and will work with ANT to develop a Plan de Rutas y Frecuencias which will guarantee there are not conflicts between routes and frequencies and end unfair competition between drivers.
Se prevé que la economía crezce un 3.55% (Economy is expected to grow by 3.55%.) – The Asociación de Bancos del Ecuador published economic information about 2021 and projections about 2022. In agreement with the Banco Central del Ecuador (BCE), it projected that 2021 will close with the economy growing by 3.55% and reaching a GDP of $68.661 billion. This is an improvement over projections made in agosto and were influenced by 4 factors: the vaccination process, increase in levels of credit given by the financial system ($31.708 billion between enero y octubre, 2021), growth in exports both oil and non-oil, and an increase in remittances. The economy is projected to grow by 2.54% ($70.406 billion) in 2022.
And that´s all for today so Hasta ? –