Lasso says biggest concern is slow rate of vaccination; Bus strike blocks city streets, highways; More ICU beds to open; New National Assembly sworn in

Apr 21, 2021 | 1 comment

Martes, 20/4/2021

Hola, Todos –

Actividades –

Otras cosas –

Titular – Moreno: la mesa no queda servida (Moreno: the table is not served) – President-elect Lasso and outgoing President Moreno met with their respective Vice Presidents and transition teams. Moreno admitted that the economic situation is complicated and paraphrased his predecessor, Rafael Correa, who told him everything was in order when Moreno took office. Moreno stressed to Lasso that la mesa no queda servida, and that Lasso was coming into a difficult situation. Lasso responded that the issue that worried him most was getting information about the Plan Nacional de Vacunación, to guarantee all Ecuadorians a vaccination and leaving no one outside. The presidents agreed that Moreno would not sign any contacts or make public purchases in his last 35 days in office.

Cita con presidente Duque (Meeting with President Duque) – Pres. elect Lasso went to Bogotá to meet with Colombian President Iván Duque. Lasso will work with Duque to develop a regional agenda for the fight against drug trafficking and illegal groups. The two also discussed Ecuador’s entrance into the Pacific Alliance trade group.

Transportistas pusieron freno a su actividad (Carriers put a stop to their activity) – Interprovincial and intracantonal bus cooperatives shut down yesterday to protest rising diesel prices which increased every month from $1.33 in enero to 1.37 in febrero, to 1.40 in marzo and 1.44 in abril. This protest was joined by the Cámara de Transporte de Cuenca (CTC). Buses were parked in various sectors such as in Tarqui and on the Panamericana Sur where they blocked the road and impeded vehicular traffic. They also parked in El Descanso on the road to Gualaceo and stayed for almost an hour during which no cars could pass. Other locations were at the Y in Sayausí, the vía Cuenca-Molleturo-El Empalme and av. Remigio Crespo. Urban buses parked on avenidas España, Solano, 3 de Noviembre, Ordóñez Lasso, De las Américas and the Panamericana Norte. A representative of the MInisterio de Gobierno in Zone 6 pointed out that free mobility is a constitutional right and protests should be held without hindering transit.

The elderly and disabled received vaccines Tuesday at the Jefferson Perez Coliseum in Cuenca. (El Mercurio)

A guardar los carros a las 20:00 (Put the cars away at 20:00) – The COE issued resolutions el pasado domingo to prevent an increase in Covid cases. Private cars will not be able to circulate from 20:00 to 5:00 for the next 30 days, all sports games whether in public or private parks or fields will be suspended for one month, and event salons will be closed for 15 days. Exceptions are vehicles in productive sectors, communications media <Good for me so I can still get the newspaper delivered.>, doctors, and personnel for basic services. Exceptions to sports are sports academies and training centers. Councilman Diego Morales said that the problem was crowding of spectators at the games and not the sports activities themselves. Mayor Palacios pointed out that the citizens have a co-responsibility for the measures to be effective. He said the fine for driving outside of permitted hours is 25% of the SBU ($100). Councilman Alfredo Aguilar said that the lack of sanctions has been a problem. EMOV had not issued a single fine from septiembre to the present. Councilman Morales agreed and said that tickets are being printed and will be ready in about 3 days. <Am I right in thinking no one got a ticket for breaking vehicular curfew because existing citations don’t have a box to check for “out after curfew?”>

Vaccinations for adultos mayores (elderly) restarted yesterday with 960 vaccines to be given each day, lunes a sábado, by appointment. Only people over 90 can get vaccinated without an appointment. This week there will be 3 days of vaccinations in areas outside of the provincial capitals with 576 shots given. 10 new ICU beds are being installed in the “Vicente Corral Moscoso” hospital, and 4 in the “Homero Castanier” hospital in Azogues. As of lunes, there were only 4 beds available in the private hospitals in Cuenca with the regional hospital at 100% occupancy and the IESS hospital in the red. The health sector is asking citizens to maintain preventive measures – masks, distancing, and hand sanitizing.

Asambleístas electos recibirán las credenciales mañana: CNE (Elected assembly members will receive their credentials tomorrow: CNE) – <This is your civics lesson for the day.> The CNE delegation in Azuay will present credentials to the elected assembly members, both principal and suplentes (alternates – your word for the day) tomorrow a las 12:30. This presentation will end the 2021 General Elections process since 100% of the votes have been counted. The results of the Referendum will also be delivered. The assembly members from Azuay will be Bruno Segovia and Sofía Sánchez (Pachakutik), Juan Crostóbal Lloret (alianza UNES), Rodrigo Fajardo (Izquierda Democrática) y (former mayor) Marcelo Cabrera (Movimiento Igualdad). They will take office el 14/5 with President Guillermo Lasso and VP Alfredo Borrero taking office on el 24/5.

Corrupción en hospital (Corruption in hospital) – The preparatory trial hearing was set up yesterday against the ex-director of the Hospital Teodoro Maldonado in Guayaquil and 15 more people for alleged organized crime. The prosecutor’s office is investigating payment agreements for the purchase of medical supplies. The ex-president of IESS, Paúl Granda, is also involved in the case. <The same Paúl Granda who was Cuenca’s mayor and comceived of the Tranvía project? I’m sure plenty of you are out there connecting dots even if you have to draw in your own dots.>

Más de medio millón de dosis se han administrado en el país (More than half a million doses have been administered in the country) – Ecuador has administered more than a half million doses of vaccines with over 150,000 this week. The schedule of vaccinations is to administer at least 35,700 doses a day. Since vaccinations started on 21/1, 277,199 people have gotten their 1st doses and 167,933 their second. The MSP reported that there have been 360,563 infections since the start of the pandemic with 17,703 deaths. Quito is the hardest hit city with 116,169 cases.

And that’s all for today so Hasta ? –