IVA tax will go directly to local gov’ts; New vaccine schedule; Aeroregional to resume flights; Crisis for El Centro commercial rentals; Nabon is cracking up

Jun 29, 2021 | 9 comments

Lunes, 28/6/2021

Hola, Todos –

Actividades –
Nada.

Titular –

Clasificación Tricolor con gol de un ‘Angel’ (Tricolor classification with a goal from an ‘Angel’) – I think Ecuador qualified for the quarter finals for something. <You know I don’t do sports so you’re on your own if you want to know more.>

Cuenca –

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Arrendatarios dejan el centro (Tenants leave the center) – The dynamics of rental real estate has changed drastically in the last 15 months. In the Centro Histórico there are empty stores where it has been impossible for businesses to pay rent. The number of “Se vende” (for sale) or “Se renta” (for rent) signs is an indication of the magnitude of the problem. Many residential spaces were rented to university students, but without in-person classes, these have been vacated. One building owner on calle Tarqui said that he hasn’t been able to rent out an apartment in over a year in spite of decreasing the rent by 40%. He is thinking about selling the building, but will wait 1 or 2 years to make the decision.

Property owners in Cuenca’s historic district are having trouble finding renters due to the economic crisis.

For commercial spaces, some businesses have permanently closed, others are partially open, and others moved to cheaper spaces including the owner of Chinchinaos. He sold party supplies at Sucre y Tarqui for 23 years, but moved to a new space close to the old store when he couldn’t pay the $1600 rent any more. Another reason contributing to lower sales in the Centro Histórico is land use planning that increased pedestrian spaces, but are in areas without parking. That caused people to do more shopping at shopping centers.

Aeroregional volverá a operar en Cuenca (Aeroregional will operate again in Cuenca) – Aeroregional airlines met with representatives from the Dirección General de Aviación Civil, and Marcelo Cabrera, Ministerio de Transport y Obras Públicas with productive results. The airline will restore service beween Cuenca and Quito in a few days. <I’ll believe it when I see their planes over my house making the turn for their final approach.> The airlines started service el 5/8/2019 with service to Quito at a fare of $160 round trip. It suspended operations in marzo, 2020 due to lack of passengers and also because it couldn’t fly with full flights due to limitations in the terminal. Catalina Segarra, in the tourist business, thought the return of Aeroregional would be good for tourism in el Austro (south Ecuador). Another tourism promotor, Mirian Moscoso, added that Cuenca should be an international or at least a regional airport since the city is an internationally known tourist destination.

Obras en aeropuerto (Projects at airport) – A comprehensive rehabilitation of the runway will start in the 1st quarter of 2022; and a $9,311,282 loan from the Banco de Desarrollo para América Latina (CAF) will finance terminal improvements. Other work will include paving in the landing area, taxiways, runway striping, a new drainage system, reconstruction of electrical circuits, and changing to LED lighting.

Vacunación para 58, 57 y 56 años (Vaccination for 58, 57 and 56 years) – 58, 57, and 56 year olds will be vaccinated the week of 28/6 to 4/7. It will start today with 58 year olds with cédulas ending in an even number or zero. Tomorrow will be for 58 year olds with odd numbered cédulas. El miércoles will be people aged 57 with even cédulas and el jueves for 57 year olds with odd cédulas. El viernes will be people aged 56 with even cédulas and el sábado for 56 year olds with odd cédulas. People from 35-39 with grave illnesses can get vaccinated from lunes a viernes. Weekends are for anyone who missed getting their shot during the week. Vaccination centers are at the UPS (Universidad Politécnica Salesiana), and the following schools: César Dávila Andrade, Herlinda Toral, Isabel Moscoso (in Las Orquídeas), Milenio Febres Cordero, Sagrados Corazones, and Antonio Avila Maldonado. Other centers are at the following colegios: Sudamericano (Ricaurte), María Auxiliadora (Salesianas), Manuel J. Calle & Benigno Malo. Lastly are the UDA, Universidad de Cuenca, escuela Juan León Mera and the Campus Bicentenario de la UDA (behind the colegio Borja). <Please save this list or identify the sites most convenient for you because I’m not going to keep typing it for the next several months.>

Región –

Nabón en emergencia debido a hundimientos (Nabón in emergency due to subsidence) – The canton of Nabón is at risk from subidence and landslides due to accumulated water. The Rosas, Tamboloma and Bellavista sectors have been most affected with cracks showing up in houses to the point that the walls look like cracks are the finish. <I bet somewhere the US, someone is paying megabucks for a crackled finish on their penthouse walls.> In the Rosas barrio, there are some 110 houses, the Terminal Terrestre, the type “C” health center, and 2 potable water plants that serve the canton. There is also a large fissure that cuts through the neighborhood. The city has bored test holes to determine the water table, done geological studies, and met with a consultant. <So Cuenca isn’t the only city having problems with Madre Tierra.>

Unidad médica en Biblián (Medical unit in Biblián) – The Japanese embassy donated $90,000 for a $115,000 Unidad Médica Móvil in Biblán to treat the most vulnerable groups in the canton, especially those in the farthest sectors. The Ministerio de Salud Pública (MSP) is providing medical professionals, medicines and medical equipment. The initial goal is to provide free medical and dental attention to 200 people each month.

Nacional –

El IVA directo a cuentas de los GAD (VAT direct to GAD (gobiernos autónomos descentralizados) – governments below the federal level accounts) – In a majority vote, the Corte Constitucional ruled in favor of public sector institutions of the Central and Decentralized governments in the matter of collection and distribution of IVA (Value added tax). Before the ruling, IVA paid by the GADs was collected by the SRI, put into the National budget and then returned. <But I don’t think it was all returned – remember the house always keeps its cut.> Now the money goes directly into the GAD accounts allowing more liquidity for GADs to do projects within their territories.

Old News –

From sábado, 26/6/2021 – Cinco causas para el austentismo (Five causes for absenteeism) – An 8 month study was done by the U. of Cuenca in collaboration with the Universidad Amberes-Bélgica, including an online survey. It concluded there were 5 reasons for vaccine absenteeism in Azuay: the type of vaccine <It seems no one wants to wake up the next morning with a craving for rice or chop suey.>, fear of side effects, mistrust of the vaccine, education level, and lack of knowledge and risk perception. The study was done from 12-26/2 before the national vaccination campaign when there were only 8,000 doses in the country for the pilot program.

Other findings included higher acceptance by older people, an acceptance rate of 68% for vaccines with 95% effectiveness falling to 40% for less effective vaccines. Other studies related to Covid found that people from 45-50 used masks and that women were the most disciplined in mask use. A second article dealt with sero-prevalence in Cuenca where random rapid tests were taken. In octubre, 2020, it found that 10% of the population had contracted the virus and 80% were asymptomatic or had light symptoms.

To learn more, read the COVID-19 Vaccine Acceptance in Azuay Province, Ecuador: A Cross-Sectional Online Survey at https://www.mdpi.com/2076-393X/9/6/678; and Seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 Infection and Adherence to Preventive Measure in Cuenca, Ecuador, October, 2020, a Cross-Sectional Study at https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33925680/; and Mass masking as a way to contain COVID-19 and exit lockdown in low- and middle-income countries at https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S016344532030489. <So – if you want to follow the sience, here’s some for you.>

And that’s all for today so hasta ? –

Jeanne

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