It’s too early to drop Covid restrictions, doctors say; Highway interchange project will reroute traffic; Thieves target ATMs; Pawkar Raymi celebrated
Hola, Todos –
Escépticos ante aforos al 100% (Skeptical about 100% capacity) – Doctors in the country are skeptical about the Government’s decision to return to 100% capacity for different indoor activities. Last week Pres. Lasso said that the country is ready for a new leap into the future, with the precaution that use of masks will be maintained as well as application of biosafety measures. Doctors are saying they are still seeing Covid patients in their offices and entering hospitals for treatment, and they recommend continued use of biosafety measure such as masks, and social distancing. One doctor warned against over confidence in the population. A researcher said the MSP should adopt complementary measures to increasing capacity limits such as selling low cost antigen tests in pharmacies. He gave an example that people planning on going to a party or club should test themselves first to find out if they should stay at home.
“Extremadamente sensible” (Extremely sensitive) – Ximena Garzón, minister of health, said that the new Omicron variant [BA.2] is more contagious, but there are no indications that it is more lethal or dangerous. It is also extremely sensitive to the vaccine and she asked that people continue with their vaccinations including a booster. She said that 88.66% (14,271,504) of Ecuadorians have received a 1st dose, and almost 85% (13,680,886) a 2nd. MSP data shows 9% testing positive for the virus compared to 62% in the beginning of enero. She said that we are on the way to controlling the pandemic in Ecuador.
Precaución al tránsito en el norte (Caution to traffic in the north) – Work on the new interchange on Av. De las Américas near the Choferes gas station started el sábado, 19/3. The work will continue 24/7 and should be done in 8 months. There will be a new 4 lane depressed road and another 4 lanes at ground level with associated sidewalks. The bus lines that will have route changes are 4, 6, 26, 7, 8, 12, & 28. There is also a long list of alternate routes for vehicular traffic.
From el sábado, 19/3 –
La danza es salud y vida para adultos (Dance is health and life for adults) – 2 years ago, the folkloric dance group Wayrapamushkas was formed by 5 women for adult and senior women. They convened virtual dance classes during the pandemic and are now preparing to go to the IX Festival Nacional e Internacional del Adulto de Danzas y Bailes del Mundo in Colombia from 25-27/3. Most of the members of the group, 14 women and 1 man, had no previous dance experience. If you’re interested in registering, call 099 577 9056. <I shouldn’t need to tell you what language you will probably need to be speaking.> Classes will resume when the group comes back from Colombia.
Los cajeros automáticos en la mira de atracadores (ATMs in the sights of robbers) – Criminals are blowing up ATMs to get at the cash, not always successfully. The gang sprays acetylene into the slot that dispenses the cash and creates a spark to cause an explosion to get to the cash. These gangs, composed of Ecuadorians and foreigners, are committing the crimes in other cities as well. <Sounds like this is the kind of stuff you learn in prison.> The most recent of the 3 explosions was el 17/3 at UDA. 2 unsuccessful attempts were made on 12/3 on the Panamericana Sur in the Zona Franca sector and on 25/2 on 1° de Mayo y Cantón El Pan. An ex-director of the SIS ECU 911 felt that the association of private banks should put devices that would spill pink paint onto the bills when the ATMs explode to identify the stolen money.
Centro de revisión para 4 cantones (Inspection center for 4 cantons) – Work started on a new centro de revisión técnica vehicular (CRTV) in Paute which will serve to matriculate about 25,000 vehicles a year. The residents of Paute, and the the nearby cantons of Guachapala, El Pan, and Sevilla de Oro will be the direct beneficiaries of this vehicle inspection center. The last 3 cantons do not have the 12,000 registered cars needed to support their own centers. The $1 million project is on land owned by the terminal terrestre on the banks of the río Paute, and the work should last about 5 months.
Celebran hoy, el Pawkar Raymi (Pawkar Raymi celebrated today) – Pawkar Raymi is the “Fiesta de florecimiento” (Blossoming Festival) and was celebrated in several cantons Monday with music, dance and crafts and gastronomic fairs in El Pan, Cumbe, Tarqui, and Nabón.
From viernes, 18/3 –
Cuenca no es mercado para grandes marcas (Cuenca is not a market for big brands) -The Swiss clothing chain H&M which has 4,750 stores in 75 countries, is betting on the Ecuadorian market and opening two stores, one each in Quito and Guayaquil, before the end of 2022. <More shopping choices here, Yay! I hope the road to Guayaquil gets opened at the same time.> Cuenca is too small a market for large multinational chains such as H&M, Zara and Mango. Quito and Guayaquil have populations of 2.5 million while Cuenca’s is 700,000. <Oh, well, Guayaquil is still a lot closer than Miami.>
And that’s all for today so hasta ? –
Editor’s note: Jeanne’s Periodico is a translated digest of news from the Cuenca daily newspaper El Mercurio. If details, such as event dates and times, do not appear in the translation, they did not appear in the newspaper (please don’t ask her for them). The text between the carrots, or guillemets (< … >), is Jeanne’s personal opinion and not part of the news translation.