Millions more vaccines arrive; Electric vehicles take Cuenca streets; e-Commerce surges during pandemic; Free produce for seniors; Covid kills Brazilian babies

Aug 17, 2021 | 1 comment

Lunes, 16/8/2021

Hola, Todos –

Actividades –

Titular –

Productores, claves de un “plan social” (Producers, keys to a “social plan”) – Associations and small agricultural producers in San Fernando will be suppliers to the municipality for assembling baskets of organic food to be given free to seniors. The City will spend $2,100/mo. to buy 140 baskets valued at $15 each. One couple who lives on barely $12/wk. <If that’s a typo, it’s not mine.> hopes to improve their economic situation once they become providers of organic produce to the City. They grow corn, potatoes, mellocos, lettuce, cabbage, alfalfa and more at their house and currently sell to neighbors. This project will give them a fixed income each month. The beneficiaries were receive food kits with basic necessities and the city will change the kits to the organic food baskets which will contain produce, a pound of chicken, a yogurt and cheese. <Add some rice, and that’s groceries for the week.>

Cuenca –

E-commerce, reto para empresas (E-commerce, challenge for companies) – When the lockdown was declared in Ecuador, and with no other choice, dozens of businesses turned to virtuality. According to research from the Obervatorio de Comercio Electrónico at the Universidad Espiritu Santo, Ecuadorian businesses registered 34% more visits to their websites in 2020 than in previous years. The research also found that 13% of the people who took the survey started buying on-line due to the pandemic. An expert in electronic commerce said that there are improvements that need to be made such as in logistical services and distribution. <Like getting the post office running again?> There is also no guidance from the Government about running an e-business. One expert recommended that businesses sell using social networks and not complicating things with a “pay” button, but continue to use bank transfers and deposits.

Local sales of electric cars, bikes and scooters increase. (El Mercurio)

<Now here are some statistics for you numbers junkies.> 8 of the 10 portals through which people make purchases are international. <And I bet Amazon is the biggest by far.> There were 19 million more digital transactions this year. The average increase in electronic sales in Ecuador is 40%. Supermarkets have experienced a 67% increase in electronic commerce (or a 67% increase because of elecronic commerce?). There were 552 million sales with credit cards in 2020 and 2021.

Movilidad eléctrica toma fuerza (Electric mobility gains strength) – Nowadays, it’s common to see electric vehicles in Cuenca including scooters, bikes, motos, and even cars. Juan Diego Ramírez wrote his thesis, “Propuesta de movilidad alternativa mediante el uso de una bicicleta híbrida en Cuenca” (Proposal for alternative mobility through the use of a hybrid bicycle in Cuenca). His project centered on the study of the geography of Cuenca and he built a bicycle with 1,000 watts of power given Cuenca’s terrain and its slopes and hills. He considered traffic in the city, times for trips, pollution, and economic aspects given the increase in fuel prices. He tested his prototype on recreational routes, and those who tested the bike were happy with the door-to-door times compared to gas vehicles and public transport.

Ramírez turned the project into a business called Ecomotion Movilidad Eléctrica where he sells electric bikes and can convert a conventional bike to electric. Prices vary from $700-1000 for 20″ rims to $1,400 and up for 26″ rims. The bikes he has in stock can reach a maximum speed of 30 km/hr. The mileage can increase by pedalling more forcefully (electric assistance). Recharging the battery costs 30 cents and takes about 4-5 hours with an average range of 30 km or 60 with assistance. <Using power and pedalling at the same time?>

Michelle Ortiz at Amercom Cuenca, said that electric vehicles are getting more popular. The dealership is changing to selling Foton trucks, pickups, vans; and it carries a line of electric scooters, motos and vehicles. Since febrero, they have sold 5 Dayang tipo jeep (jeep type – or SUVs) electric cars which seat 5, have a range of 100 km., and cost $8,990. Customers are mainly from Azuay, Cañar and Santa Elena, and mostly women from 25-35, seniors, and foreigners. Batteries take about 8 hours to recharge, but there is much less maintenance and buyers are exonerated from the green tax or IVA. Ortiz also highlighted the massive sales of scooters since young people can afford them, the charging time is fast, and the batteries are portable. So far, there is no ordinance requiring that scooters be registered nor the driver licensed. <Sounds like the perfect motorized vehicle for well coordinated gringos – cheap and no need to learn enough Spanish to take a driving test. The downside is if you don’t know the rules of the road, both written and as practiced, you might wind up in one of my posts about a moto-vehicle accident.>

Sucesos –

Policía decomisa un fusil y otras armas al requisar cárcel del Guayas (Police seize a rifle and other weapons when they seize the Guayas prison) – The Policía Nacional conducted a search and seizure operation in 4 pabellones (pavilions – wings) at the Centro de Privación de Libertad (CPL) Guayas No. 1. The found a rifle, bullets, knives, and cellphones. The police reported that there was an attempt to riot and tactical units were deployed.

Regional –

BiblioAzuay llevará la Caravana de la Lectura a cinco cantones del Azuay (BiblioAzuay will take the Reading Caravan to five cantons of Azuay) – This reading program has been extended from today to el lunes, 23/8. The bookmobile will be going to 5 cantons in Azuay. It will be in Oña el lunes, 16/8, in Chordeleg el martes, 17/8, in Girón el miércoles, 18/8, in Santa Isabel el jueves, 19/8, and in Sígsig el lunes 23/8. To now, over 900 children and youth have been served by this program.

Nacional –

2 millones de dosis de Sinovac llegan y garantizan el stock (2 million doses of Sinovac arrive and guarantee the stock) – El Gobierno announced that 2 million doses of Sinovac arrived in the country last weekend in spite of difficulties with international flights due to a new outbreak in the country of origin. Vaccines can restart for people who rescheduled appointments for the Sinovac. There will be no changes for people who scheduled AstraZénica and Pfizer shots.

The Sinovac went to the Banco Nacional de Vacunas and from there, were distributed to over 570 vaccination centers across the country. <Are they comiing into Cuenca on military planes? De vez en cuando, I’ve been seeing these odd non-passenger planes on their approach.> There will be another 2 million dose shipment of Sinovac el 21/8; and 101,760 AstraZeneca doses donated by Spain through the WHO sponsored Covax initiative should have arrived today.

Mundo –

Brasil – Tercera parte de muertos por covid tienen menos de 1 año (A third of the deaths from covid are less than 1 year old) – The Fundación Oswaldo Cruz (Fiocruz), the main health research center in Brazil, analyzed the 1,207 Brazilians under 18 who died of Covid in the last year. It found that 33% of the deaths were in babies up to 1 year old and 9% were considered recently born or under 28 days old. Another 8% were between 1 & 2, 5% between 2 & 3, and 46% over 3. Cristiano Boccolini, the researcher responsible for the study, explained that in general, children and teens get asymptomatic Covid and are not considered a vulnerable population. He said that to reduce mortality in minors, priority for vaccines should be given to pregnant and lactating mothers who are mainly responsible for transmitting the virus.

And that’s all for today so hasta ? –


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 (please don’t ask her for them). The text between the carrots, or guillemets (< … >), is Jeanne’s personal opinion and not part of the news translation.