Lockdown order is week to week, Tight controls on highway to Guayaquil, Cuban docs head to Italy, Stranded Ecuadorians await flights

Apr 14, 2020 | 10 comments

Lunes, 13/4/2020

Hola, Todos –

Sorry for going AWOL on you. My computer broke.

Actividades –
De la pagina cultural –

Eduardo Vega – The documents of ceramic artist Eduardo Vega are being organized. There are some 5,000 articles including books, drawings, letters, photos and more, much of which will be available digitally. Some of Vegas’ public art works include Los Totems, the mural on the central campus of the U. of Cuenca, and the interior of the Hotel El Dorado.

School snacks – The distribution of milk, cookies and granola bars to school children is being rescheduled when concerns of both teachers and parents about being exposed to COVID-19 are addressed.

Otras cosas –

Titular – Rechazo a plan de contribución (Rejection of contribution plan) – See Monday’s CHL article for story.

Police are empounding hundreds of cars for violating driving rules.

Una semana más de confinamiento por el coronavirus (One more week of confinement due to the coronavirus) – The face-to-face workday and all the restrictions on movement will be maintained until el próximo domingo, 19/4. The COVID-19 stop light started Monday with all provinces on red, and after el domingo, the option of progressive removal of the restrictions will be evaluated. Given the number of cases, the provinces of Guayas, Pichincha, Azuay, Manabí, Santa Elena, los Ríos, Cañar, El Oro y Loja will not be considered for returning to normal. <Sorry, everybody – put more restaurants into your speed dial for delivery.>

Strict controls on vía to Guayas – There are few cars and minimal commercial and tourist movement on the vía Cuenca-Molleturo-Puerto Inca which connects Azuay with Guayas provinces. Controls are especially strict on the stretch from the Cajas to Puerto Inca. Most of the traffic are trucks carrying items of primera necesidad (basic needs <like four packs of 24 rolls of toilet paper>) and food. In spite of the health warnings, Puerto Incans are out in the street, conducting business normally.

Restaurants in the Cajas are closed with “peligro” tape blocking the entrances to the parking lots. People are still working at the trout pools, bringing fish to customers in Cuenca who are ordering via social media. <A new economy based on moto delivery drivers.>

COVID-19 – Mayor Palacios used social media to bring a message to Cuencanos about the measures taken to fight the virus, and warned that “Estamos lejos a volver a normalidad.” (We are far from returning to normal.) Azuay has 178 cases with 158 in Cuenca. The largest number of cases is in patients between 20 & 49, but the most deaths are of adultos mayores (older adults). The Vicente Corral Moscoso hospital is enlarging the area to treat COVID-10 patients. Currently there are 27 hospitalized patients of whom 4 are in critical condition. There have been 41 patients discharged. The jump in the number of cases is going hand in hand with increased testing which has gone from 100 to 200 per day in the past week.

Día del Maestro – Today is the Day of the Teacher and also the birthday of Juan Montalvo who was not a teacher. Pres. Alfredo Baquerizo Moreno declared the day in 1920.

Humanitarian flights – Flights to bring stranded Ecuadorians back have resumed after they were suspended because some previously repatriated citizens refused to comply with the mandatory 14 day quarantine. 1,438 Ecuadorians came on 17 flights between 20/3 and 11/4. There are still at least 90 people stranded overseas who have reached an agreement with LAN to return and are only waiting for Ecuador to authorize their entry into the country. <I wonder if these include stranded permanent residents who want to come home, too?>

Police page –

Guardia Ciudadana – The Guardia Ciudadana caught 7 people implicated in robberies including a group of 5 who stole a phone and who were intimidating passersby near the 10 de agosto mercado. Another presumed delinquent was captured in the Puertas del Sol sector, and a third alleged bicycle thief was arrested in the Feria Libre sector.

Speculation – Bryan Steven A. N. was detained in Guayaquil for speculating in the sale of Plaquinol (Hhydroxychloroquine <You know – the drug Trump is pushing. I hope he wasn’t selling it to gullible gringos.>), an anti-malarial drug. He was selling the drug, worth $15, for $150.00.

1,356 drivers sanctioned for noncompliance with vehicular restrictions – Since the start of the vehicular restrictions, 1,356 drivers have been sanctioned in Cuenca. Just in the last 4 days (jueves a domingo), EMOV retained 199 cars. They were taken to the impound lots and can be reclaimed when the lockdown is over and after paying the storage and towing fees. Additionally, drivers are fined 50% of the SBU (Salario Basico Unificado) and lose 9 points off their license.

Internacional –

Perú – An emergency decree is creating a special service for doctors dedicated to treating COVID-19. These would include Peruanos as well as foreigners. Among the more than 800,000 Venezuelans who entered Perú in the last 3 years are some 4,000 doctors who are ready to work.

Cuba – A second brigade of doctors and nurses in the Contingente de Médicos Especializados en Desastres y Epidemias (Contingent of Doctors Specialized in Disasters and Epidemics) was sent from Cuba to the Piamonte region of Italy. Almost all of the 20 doctors and 18 nurses have experience in international missions, and 13 took part in the fight against ébola in Africa. This is the 20th brigade, totaling 1,197 doctors and nurses, that Cuba has sent to help in 19 countries. <Cuba must create doctors the way the US creates lawyers.>

And that’s all for today so hasta ? –

Jeanne

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