Four local virus patients are in critical condition; Authorities look for more beds; Local firms make 3D masks & visors; Food baskets delivered

Mar 27, 2020 | 10 comments

Jueves, 26/3/2020

Hola, Todos –

Actividades –
De la pagina cultural –

Topical song – Singer Andrés Pineda wrote a song, “Quedate en casa, por favor” and contacted 13 other professional singers to participate in producing it. The song is currently only available on the Facebook pages of the singers, César Morales, Daniel Vélez, Darwin Zúñiga, Damián Mo, Álex Ponce, María René y Daniel, Diana Urgilés, Angie Astudillo, Michelle Guartatanga “Shellmy,” Vanessa Freire, Verónica Tola, Amelia Pineda, Analiz Verdesoto, y Joaquina Ordóñez.

Cultural sites available – The Ministerio de Cultura y Patrimonio has released various cultural sites with 18 categories of art and culture. Go to for symphonic concerts, theater, museum tours, archives, historic documents, books, and movies. Participating groups include the “Benjamin Carrión Mora” theater, Compañía Nacional de Danza del Ecuador, and the Orquesta Sinfónica de Cuenca.

A local company is printing 3D face masks.

Call for writers – “El Conejo” Publishers is calling for people who want to write stories about life in quarantine. Send your work to /

Otras cosas –

Titular – Ciudad ensombrecida; pocas camas en hospital (Shadowed city; few beds in hospital) – Cuenca, as in other cities in Ecuador, presented a cold and lonely environment with a little ash from the Sangay volcano floating in the sky.

There are only 12 beds in the Vicente Moscoso Regional hospital and 10 in the José Carrasco Arteaga hospital available in the public health system in Azuay for critical patients with coronavirus. The governor of the province is waiting for 40 more beds for each hospital. Currently, the regional hospital is the only one treating coronavirus patients in Azuay and has 6 patients, 4 in critical condition who are on ventilators. For patients with light symptoms, the regional hospital has 20 beds, and the IESS hospital has 18 beds. Patients needing intensive care for other illnesses are being sent to other hospitals, both public and private. The Centro de Alto Rendimiento (CEAR) in Totoracocha is being prepared to isolate patients with light symptoms who need medical surveillance rather than hospitalization. Officials have been meeting with private hospitals who will provide additional intensive care beds if/when the situation requires them. Collectively, they have an additional 500 intensive care beds. The private medical sector has also asked if they can contribute to research on the virus.

The U. of Cuenca and the city maintain the ‘Telesalud’ service accessible at where people can videocall with local doctors. There are 16 doctors participating and they can refer the patient to the hospital and help with getting an ambulance or medicines through Farmasol.

Blood needed – The restrictions on travel have reduced blood donations and the Cruz Roja (Red Cross) and Vicente Corral Moscoso hospital blood banks are low. You can call the hospital at 409 6000 est. 7637, and health personnel will come to your house. The Cruz Roja will send an ambulance if you call 0996 235 093 or 0983 365762. <Let me know if that Red Cross ambulance has all your neighbors hanging out the windows to see what’s going on.>

3D printed plastic masks – Young entrepreneurs are stepping up and putting their skills to work on combating the coronavirus. Several are manufacturing clear plastic face shields for medical personnel directly treating patients either through 3D printing or laser cutting. One of them, Xavier Vidal Barrera is a designer and student of Publicity and Marketing and runs Publi X Industria Gráfica in Cuenca. He started out printing the masks, which took 30-40 minutes, but changed to laser cutting which takes less than 5 minutes. He is asking for help from the citizenry to make and distribute the masks. He needs 200 micron acetate sheets, although the local market has 100 micron sheets which will also work. He also needs láminas de foami (foam sheets) and elastic. Call 098 453 3993 if you can help.

Diego Morales, a Cuenca councilman, electrical engineer, and professor at he U. Católica de Cuenca is making visors as part of the #CuidandoHéroes (Caring(for)Heros). You can go to his Facebook page: Deigo Morales – Concejal Cuenca if you want to help. Andrés Serrano, a doctor with AC MEDICAL PRINT is 3D printing a design where you can lift the visor, and Romero Cisneros, an industrial engineer and designer launched “Por Nuestros Héroes” to make mouth covers. <There is some heartwarming news, still.>

City business on line – The city has activated a Webchat system at to get to 38 services such as construction, reporting land use violations, sign permits, municipal records and planning and building permits. <Optimists can take this opportunity to get the permits to open a new restaurant.> One click will connect you to a technician. Hours are M-F from 8-16:45.

The city also has a platform, “Tele Salud Alcaldía Cuenca” for medical consulations in General Medicine, Pediatrics, Psychology and Gynecology.

Salvoconducto – Misuse of salvoconductos can be sanctioned with 1-3 years in prison. People and vehicles working in strategic sectors don’t need salvoconductos. These areas are health, security and control officers, communications, finance, companies making food and medicines, and public servants in the National Government. Vehicles involved in those strategic sectors, and transporting essential products such as food, medicine, animals, gasolina, and gas (domestic?) also don’t need salvoconductos. Those who need them are people going to medical appointments or working in businesses connected to strategic sectors, and vehicles transporting primary material, supplies and services. Thses people also need to have the primary document proving the need for the salvoconducto with them. Get a salvoconducto on line at

Agricultural products delivered to your house – Small agricultural producers who participate in the technical programs of the Ministerio de Agricultura y Ganadería are offering home delivery of their products. One of the participants is the Asociación de Productores Pamar Chacrín in Sígsig which offers the choice of 3 canastas (baskets) produced without chemicals from $15-$30. Call 095 887 3129 for deliveries on miércoles y sábados. Canastas solidarias are still being distributed to people in need. The City is taking calls for those at 098 419 6996, 098 465 8571, and 098 277 1250. Francisco Puchi in Tarqui parish is offering home delivery of queso fresco, mozzerella, butter, yogurt and manjar de leche. Call 098 257 7920 to order. These are all in addition to the canastas populares from Agrokawsay.

Cañar closed – Only vehicles and people connected to strategic sectors are allowed in and out. There are sanitary control points at the accesses where vehicles are being fumigated. <I wonder what’s in that spray and if there are health related risks with repeated exposures? Will there be cancer clusters after the COVID-29?>

Volcan Sangay – The Sangay volcano threw ash that reached 570 above the rim of the crater last martes at the end of the day. There were light ash falls in Cuenca y Macas. There were 40 long period quakes related to movement of fluids inside the mountain with 14 explosions and 11 tremors causing ash. The ashfall ended Wednesday as the wind direction changed. <Nice to finally see some “normal” news. Translating all this coronavirus and nothing but coronavirus is depressing.>

Suspension of debts – The IMF and World Bank are proposing suspending debt payments for the world’s poorest countries so the money can be redirected to fighting the pandemic. There are 76 countries that can opt to take this proposal including Pakistan. Kenya, Honduras, Nicaragua, Haiti, Nigeria, Mozambique, Nepal, Syria and Yemen. The UN is also soliciting money for a $2 billion plan to limit the effects of the pandemic on poor countries and those in crisis or conflicts. These would include Venezuela, Colombia and countries in the region that have taken in the largest numbers of Venezuelans <like Ecuador?>, and war torn countries like Yemen, Syria and Libya.

And that´s all for today so Hasta ? –



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