Masking rules reconsidered; Lasso pledges help for Nabon; Radar units target traffic violators; LatAm Covid cases declining; Women in science exhibit
Hola, Todos –
Mujeres científicas, protagonistas de exposición (Women scientists, stars of exhibit) – Starting today, girls and women involved in science will the main characters of a schedule of activities around the Día Internacional de la Mujer y la Niña en la Ciencia. The exhibit “Mujeres protagonistas de la ciencia” opened today a las 10:00 in the Museo Pumapungo. There are 66 micro-biographies of researchers at a national level, and the exhibit was organized by the Red Ecuatoriana de Mujeres Científicas, REMCI. Tomorrow, the “Ciencia a la cuidadanía” event will make virtual visits to high schools.
Vuelve el “Diablito” con Mabel Petroff (“Diablito” returns with Mabel Petroff) – “La noche del diablo,” a popular Azuayan story, will return to the stage mañana y el sábado a las 20:00 in the Prohibido Centro Cultural. Admission – $7.00.
Taller para elaboración de tarjetas Pop-up (Pop-up card workshop) – GO will hold a workshop on how to make pop-up cards el sábado from 10-13:00 with Pablo Silva. Participants will create cards and learn about all aspects of production including cutting, mounting, gluing, boxes and binding. Get more information from the GO social networks. Cost: $14.00.
Nabón: contratos por emergencia (Nabon: emergency contracts) – Funds will be coming to Nabón to attend to the emergency from a macro-landslide caused by the accumulation of water. Yesterday, the Gobierno Nacional promised $7 million for the affected zones. Pres. Lasso visited the city and spoke from the Terminal Terrestre which is showing cracks as is the local health center. 4 sectors of the city are affected, mainly the barrio Rosas, only 5 minutes from the main plaza. 150 houses are affected and 42 had to be evacuated. The first transfer of $2.7 million to the city is to contract for repair projects.
Existen 489,000 dosis de vacuna contra la influenza para Zona 6 (489,000 doses of influenza vaccine are available for Zone 6) – Zone 6, comprised of Azuay, Cañar, and Morona Santiago provinces, have 489,000 doses of flu vaccines and personnel trained in how to administer them in health centers and mobile brigades. Doses are divided into 326,340 for Azuay, 100,670 for Cañar, and 61,990 for Morona Santiago. Groups to be immunized are babies from 6-11 months, children from 1-4 years, people older than 60, pregnant and postpartum women, health personnel in both public and private systems, caretakers in adult and childrens’ centers, disabled people, people from 5-64 with chronic diseases and immune suppressed, and Personas Privadas de Libertad (prisoners). The vaccinations are available at all centros de salud and can be given on the same day as a Covid-19 vaccination. <Both in the same arm for some really spectacular swelling or one in each arm for a more balanced reaction? This is kind of like sorting people by those who rip their bandaids off and those who peel them off slowly.>
Se activaron implantes a nueve pacientes con pérdida auditiva (Implants activated for nine patients with hearing loss) – The Servicio de Audiología at the Hospital Vicente Corral Moscoso announced that it had activated bone conduction implants in 9 patients from 6 to 43 years from Cuenca, Loja, Riobamba and Quito. The patients had an interior device (magnet) placed in 12/2021 and received the second part, an exterior audio processor which could be activated after a scarring period. This procedure can cost $15,000 at a private institution, but was free for the recipients.
Cuestionan plan de nuevos radares (New radar plan questioned) – The City of Cuenca business, Empresa de Movilidad (EMOV EP), is planning to install 32 photo-radars at 16 urban and rural intersections to reduce accidents. The devices take photos of license plates of vehicles that speed, make improper turns, do not respect stoplights <like left, right or straight through a red light, and I know you’ve seen all of those>, or stop on top of zebra crosswalks. The information collected goes through a data base and is processed to issue fines against the vehicle owners. <So be careful about who you lend your car to since you’ll be getting that $127.00 ticket.>
EMOV plans to sign a contract with Consorcio Móvil Technology Ecuador which will install the radars with an investment of $7,292,000 over 12 years and will keep from 30-40% of what is collected. Rómulo Salgado, an attorney and advisor about transit legislation, said EMOV collected around $3,000,000 with 7 of the 10 speed radars it has during the period enero a junio, 2021. <Evidently speeders are a moneymaker for the city – only without the confrontation so no one gets shot over a traffic ticket. Different culture.> Omar Alvarez, a city councilman questioned the placement of the radars. He had heard Mayor Palacios refer to photoradars as a hand in the pockets of Cuencanans at the beginning of the mayoral term, and wanted it put onto the next council agenda for informational purposes.
Analizan retiro de mascarilla en los espacios abiertos (Removal of masks in open spaces analyzed) – According to the MInister of Health, Ximena Garzón, the requirement for using a mask in open spaces could be eliminated in the next 2 weeks if positive cases continue to decline and the delta variant stops circulating. When asked about adopting measures similar to those in Europe where mask use has been discarded, Garzón said that Europe is 2 or 3 weeks ahead in transmission, and if Ecuador reaches the same levels of contagion, it could come to the same decision. She said that would mean positive levels of 5%. Currently, for antigen tests, positive results have dropped from 56% to 50%, between weeks 4 & 5. PCR tests have dropped from 57 to 45% positive. She also conditioned dropping the mask requirement on the delta variant not circulating in the country since it produces more serious cases. Currently delta is responsible for only 2% of cases and ómicron for 98%.
Yesterday, the president of the national COE, Juan Zapata, announced that PCR tests would no longer be required for entry into Ecuador or the Galápagos which was a response to a request by the MInisterio de Turismo. This will be effective as of este viernes. The only requirement now will be a certificate showing complete vaccination.
Desciende la ola de contagios (Wave of infections declines) – Infections and hospitalizations are starting to decrease in Latin American countries according to the Organización Panamericana de la Salud. At a weekly press conference, OPS director Dr. Carisa Etienne said that although still high, new infections and hospitalizations are coming down with a 31% drop in cases from the past week. During the last week there were 4.8 million new cases and 33,000 deaths. Deaths increased by 30% in Central America although contagions decreased notably in El Salvador by 70% and in Belize and Panama by 30%.
In South America contagions have gone down with a drop by half in Peru and Argentina although deaths remain high in Bolivia and Venezuela. Dr. Etienne said that in countries with high levels of vaccinations, such as Ecuador, fewer serious cases and deaths are being seen.
A graph showing the top 10 Latin American countries for deaths per 100,000 habitants had Peru at the top of the list with 636.67, more than double than Brasil with 299.0. The lowest was Panamá with 184.72 and Ecuador was 3d from the bottom with 198.77. A map also showed the 10 Latin American countries with the highest rates of people completely vaccinated. Chile was 1st with 89.65%, Cuba 2nd with 86.85%, Colombia was the lowest with 63.87%, and Ecuador somewhere in the middle with 76.89%. <Compare this with the US with 64.2%>
And that´s all for today so Hasta ? –