Hospital routines resume as Covid wanes; Highway to the Amazon nears completion; Plastic bottle recycle machines help clean parks; Lasso shuffles his cabinet
Hola, Todos –
Photo contest – Cuenca es única (Cuenca is unique) – Submit your photo to firstname.lastname@example.org. or through the link in their social networks with your complete name, cédula, cellphone number, the category of the photo(s), and a brief description of the photo(s). There are five categories: 1. Your favorite place <like the living room couch?> 2. A different angle of the city 3. The people 4. Natural landscape 5. Urban landscape.
Titular – Bernal asumirá el MIES (Bernal will takeover MIES) – Pres. Lasso has restructured his cabinet. Those leaving are Mae Montaño, minister of MIES (Ministerio de Inclusión, Económica y Social), Jorge Madero, president of the board of directors of IESS, and Vicente Taiano, governor of Guayas. Unofficial information has Tanlly Vera, minister of Agricultura y Ganadería (Agriculture and Livestock), Sebastián Palacios, minister del Deporte (Sports), and Mauricio Montalvo (Secretary of State) also leaving. Montaño will be replaced by Esteban Bernal who was governor of Azuay.
Inmunidad se lograría al fin año (Immunity would be achieved by end of year) – Ximena Garzón, ministra de Salud, reported that vaccinations for 12-15 year olds which started this week will be with only Pfizer. Studies from the UK indicate one dose in this age group produces sufficient immunity, but the MSP is considering a 2nd dose after 6 months due to the variants circulating in Ecuador. However, if parents want their kids to get a 2nd dose in 28 days, they can since there are sufficient vaccines. The plan to innoculate children and teens will allow the country to reach herd immunity by the end of the year with a coverage of 85-90%. (Some communities, including Cuenca, have already reached herd immunity.) They are also analyzing the possibility of vaccinating kids from 6 to11 from the middle of octubre to noviembre when they will also vaccinate laggards.
For 3d doses, Garzón said they were being programmed for people, basically front line health workers who got vaccinated in enero, to get a third dose by the end of the year. 3d doses at a community level are being analyzed. A study is being conducted to determine if the level of antibodies in the community has developed sufficient immunity or if a booster will be needed. She said a 3d dose would probably be needed next year with modifications in the formula for protection against variants that could appear. <I think the drug companies like these variants. It makes Covid vaccines their new cash cow.>
HVCM reapertura consulta externa (HVCM reopening outpatient clinic) – The outpatient clinic at the Vicente Corral Moscoso hospital reopened since the the Covid figures have decreased and more space has become available. The emergency area has been recovered, as well services that had been provided at the Centro de Salud No. 1- Pumapungo. This is a level 2 hospital, so patients who need an appointment need to have a reference from a level 1 health center.
Migrante cuencano cayó del muro (Cuenca migrant fell from the wall) – Mayra Sinche of the Sinincay Parish, is looking for her husband, Angel Alfonso Arpi Arpi, who was taken to a hospital by the border patrol after climbing the border wall near El Paso and falling. His nephew stayed with him, and sent their location to the family in Ecuador. While they were walking to meet the vehicle sent to collect them, Angel collapsed and his nephew called 911. The family is hoping that the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Movilidad Humana (MREMH – Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility) can help them locate Angel Arpi.
En un año se aspira reciclar un millón de botellas de plástico (1 million plastic bottles expected to be recycled in one year) – 3 years ago, students at the Universidad Católica de Cuenca built a machine to collect plastic bottles from trashcans and littering the riverbanks and parks in Cuenca. They built a prototype for “Pichaybot,” and it was placed in the parque Paraíso, De la Madre and the central plazas of rural parishes. During that period 90,000 bottles were collected. With the help of EMAC EP and Elecaustro, a new version has been developed and 7 machines have been built. They will be in the Paraíso, De la Madre and Tarqui-Guzho parks and in the Checha, Chiquintad, San Joaquín, and Baños parishes.
All the user has to do is pass the bottle across a bar code reader and drop it in a hole. The user has 4 options – to get 1 cent for the bottle, get points on a card to redeem stuff, donate the cent, or play roulette to either double the penny or lose it. The card can be used with BioEMAC where it can “buy” plants. People who want to donate can select the U. Católica de Cuenca which will make furniture with the rcycled plastic, or donate to a recycling fund of EMAC where it will go to projects benefitting the 256 recyclers. However, representatives for the organizations of recyclers in Cuenca are not happy since they feel as they will be replaced by the machines which pay less for each recycled bottle.
El complejo turístico de Guapán, en abandono (The tourist complex of Guapán, in abandonment) – The Complejo de Aguas Termales in Guapán parish is abandoned and waiitng for a consultant’s report. The public business of the U. of Cuenca is conducting a study to see what needs to be done to complete the project and what it will cost. The project was started in 2014 and about $2 million has been invested. The complex of thermal pools has not been maintained, there has been vandalism, and the parish board does not have the money to hire a guard. The prefect of Cañar, Buyron Pacheco, stopped the project after faults were found.
Vía conectará al Azuay con Zamora Chinchipe (Road will connect Azuay with Zamora Chinchipe) – The vía Bayán-San Vicente will become an interprovincial connection between Azuay and Zamora Chinchipe. Part of the 29 km. road is completed; some is under construction and should be finished in 3 or 4 months, weather permitting; and some needs environmental permits. <That sounds like an example of piecemeal.>
And that’s all for today so Hasta ? –