Medical brigades to make house calls, Fines for lockdown violations, Taxis are only form of public transport, Banks defer loan payments

Mar 19, 2020 | 32 comments

Miércoles, 18/3/2020

Hola, Todos –

Actividades –
De la pagina cultural –

Free books – The Spanish publisher Anagrama has added to the campaign, “#YoMe QuedoEnCasaLeyendo” (I stay at home reading) by making 5 ebooks available for free. <Of course, they’re in Spanish. So you can make good use of staying at home to study Spanish on line, then download the books. Of course I hope this emergency doesn’t last that long, but maybe you’re a quick learner.>

Otras cosas –

A motorcyclist receives a warning from a police officer. (El Mercurio)

Titular – Desolador panorama (Bleak panorama) – (Half of the front page is a picture looking south along Benigno Malo from Gran Colombia, and as far as you can see, there are only 4 people.) <My apologies if I’m repeating information already published, but remember you’re reading someone with a tercera edad memory who can’t remember what she had for lunch. I’d have to look in the frig to see if there were leftovers.> Until el próximo martes, public and private employees will remain at home. Employers who force employees to go to work in person or fire them, could receive fines of up to $ 8,000 or even prison. The government has toughened the measures for people to stay at home because of people not observing the restriction, including some who were in quarentine, but left their houses anyway. The names of the 6 offenders will be published and sanctioned with prison once the emergency is over. <Do you get the impression that the Gobierno is serious about Quedate en Casa?>

From Wednesday, the 3,000 taxis in Cuenca are the only public transit operating, and they have been disinfected. The airport is only operating for cargo planes and emergency flights. Vehicles with plates ending in even numbers or zero can circulate on martes, jueves y sábados. Odd numbered plates on the other days. Passenger vans are being fumigated at the Terminal Terrestre. You should report cases are by calling 911. Motorcycle delivery services will deliver to your home until 21:00 through the mobile apps.

Only financial institutions, pharmacies, fruterías, tiendas de abarrotes (grocery stores – our words for the day), and a few lodgings were open yesterday. Street vendors were selling products such as masks, antiseptic gels, etc., and orange juice. The mercados were operating almost normally but products that come from the north are expensive, including broccoli, carrots and tomatoes. Oranges were getting scarce.

Suben a cinco los casos en Azuay (The cases in Azuay rise to five) – Officials confirmed 4 new cases for a total of 5 cases in Cuenca, two of whom are in hospital. <This number will probably change every few hours.> The new cases are related to a patient who was diagnosed over the weekend after a trip to Europe. There are 10 suspected cases, and the epidemiological containment in Azuay went from 35 to 55 people. Two of the new cases were hospitalized, one because of a previous chronic illness and the other an 86-year-old who previously had surgery. They were both diagnosed at a private clinic and referred to the Vicente Corral Moscoso hospital where they are in an isolation ward. The hospital is analyzing the possiblity of suspending outpatient care and minor surgeries. More urgent cases such as childbirth will be sent to private clinics.

Medical brigades are being formed to make house calls to people with symptoms and by calling 171. The brigades will be composed of 150 students in their last year of Ciencias Médicas at the universities of Cuenca, Católica de Cuenca y Azuay. Medical staff at Medisol will join the efforts of the public health network and these municipal centers will be closed during the emergency. Farmasol <Municipal pharmacy business> will be open as usual. ARCSA (Agencia de Regulación y Control Sanitario) will be monitoring prices charged by pharmacies for masks (max. $.27) and antiseptics and alcohol up to to 500 ml. (max. $2.66). They have also established controls for prices of coronavirus tests which are fixed at $120 nationally, but cost an average of $90 in Cuenca. The tests are free for those in the public health network.

Stay at home – If you don’t comply with the restriction, there are serious penalties. Driving on the wrong day is a serious infraction. Drivers won’t go to prison because of the situation, but there will be fine of 50% of the SBU (Salario Basico Unificado) or $200, and you’ll lose 9 points off your license. Those who break the curfew will be charged with noncompliance with legitimate decisions by a competent authority and can be sanctioned with 1-3 years in prison after the emergency is over. <If that’s you, get on the first plane back to the U.S. before the police came knocking at your door.>

Debt payment delays and refinancing – The Asociación de Bancos Privados del Ecuador (Asobancos) decided to defer payment of loan payments for citizens and businesses for 60 days without late fees. There will also be refinancing for their clients. The amount involved in credit and restructuring is about $12 billion. <Do you think US borrowers are going to get the same kind of consideration?>

And that’s all for today so Hasta ? –

Jeanne
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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. The text between the carrots, or guillemets (< … >), is Jeanne’s personal opinion and not part of the news translation.

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