‘New normal’ protocols listed; Covid-19 case count; 3,500 wait for flights to Galapagos, 600 stuck on ships; Bus owners need help

May 5, 2020 | 5 comments

Lunes, 4/5/2020

Hola, Todos –

Actividades –
De la pagina cultural –

MMAM – The Museo Municipal de Arte Moderno has two on line exhibits. The first is “Tiempo natural” by Juan Carlos León with photos of his sculptures on the themes of the stripping away of nature and capitalism vs. nature. The second exhibit is “Exención, entre el confinamiento y lo manifiesto” (Exemption, between confinement and the manifest) which shows the history of the MMAM building since it’s construction in 1876. It has been an alcohol recovery center, mens’ prison, senior citizens’ home and orphanage and school. All of those uses are those of confinement. You can go through the link on Facebook (Museo Municipal de Arte Moderno de Cuenca) or the Dirección de Cultura. Or you can go to https://poly.google.com/view/3NUJxkHsaLY. <That like sounds like that old song poly.google all day.>

Otras cosas –

Titular – El distanciamiento comienza “en rojo” (The distancing begins “in red”) – As of lunes, 4/5, Ecuador will go from social isolation to distancing. All of the country’s 211 cantons will enter this new phase with the color red. That means as of Monday, people can provide technical services and repairs a domicilio. <So you can finally get your iPad fixed.> Nationally, commerce via phone and on-line sales to your house can start.

The El Arenal market reopens today. (El Mercurio)

Covid-19 statistics – As of Monday, there were 31,881 positive cases, 33,254 negative, 3,300 recuperated, 1,992 discharges from hospitals, 6,225 con alta epidemiológica (high epidemiology? released from epidemiological containment?), 2,905 deaths, 1,569 confirmed and another 1,336 suspected coronvirus deaths. Surveillance studies were done in Babahoyo, Guayaquil, and Quito which consisted of a survey to know the epidemiological context, tests according to local reality, and geo-referencing to establish epidemiological containment. For example, 360 people in Babahoyo were interviewed and rapid tested resulting in 3 out of 10 who had immunity. In Guayaquil, 3,440 people received PCR tests and 3% of them showed an active virus. The highest number of infections in Quito were in the Chimbacalle, Iñaquito, y Guamani sectors.

Titular del sábado – Protocolos para nueva normalidad se elaboran (Protocols for new normality are drawn up) – Cuenca will be on red which will allow:
Sales allowed on line and by phone
Home deliveries between 7-22:00
Work by essential sectors
Taxis from 5-22:00 <But regular people still have a curfew from 2:00 so I guess taxis will be carrying pizzas, cheeseburgers, cerveza y vino.>
Driving based on the last digit of your plate, and no driving on weekends.
Regulations for all colors:
Obligatory use of masks, and 1.5 meter per person distancing
Aislamiento obligatorio (compulsory isolation – I gave you the Spanish so you can run it through your own translation program and interpret it how you wish.) for vulnerable groups. <In previous articles, I read that includes anyone over 60, but it is a recommendation, not an enforceable restriction.>
Restrictions on reuniones (meetings, gatherings, parties) and mass assemblies
Closed: Borders, national and international flights, interprovincial bus transport.

Mining to resume in Camilo Ponce Enríquez – Starting lunes, gold mining will gradually restart in this canton which has about 80 medium and 200 small mining companies. Strict security requirements and mobility restrictions will apply.

Stuck on a boat – More than 600 crew are confined to ships in the Galápagos, with 51 positive for coronavirus, and most of them asymptomatic. One of the ships has 48 cases with the most serious sent to Quito. Many of the crew have been in quarantine on the boats for over 14 days, but due to maritime security protocol, they can’t abandon their ships except for humanitarian health reasons or circumstances of force majeure. <If those crew members don’t live in the Galápagos, they might as well be stuck on the boat as paying for a hotel room.> Yesterday, a TAME flight took 80 people from San Cristóbal back to the mainland where there are 3,500 people waiting to return to the Galápagos. These returnees must take a coronavirus test before they board, and comply with a 14 day quarantine in a hotel when they arrive.

The seikipai indigenous people – have about 700 members in Ecuador and are asking national and international human rights organizations for an integrated, concerted, and urgent response from the Gobierno. There were 14 rapid and 1 PCR positive tests and some of the people who tested positive had contact with elderly members of their community who died with COVID-19 symptoms. In the middle of abril, 40 community members retreated into the jungle. In abril, the Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (Inter-American Commission on Human Rights) called for special protection for indigenous populations against the pandemic. <At least the infections are not intentional like smallpox on a blanket.>

Transportistas – Owners of the urban buses are asking for help from the Gobierno Nacional to avoid bankruptcy. The situation of the Cámara de Transporte de Cuenca (CTC) is different from other gremios (guilds, unions) since they owe about $60 million to private banks. These loans were for new buses since one of the conditions for increasing fares from $.25 to $.31 was a new bus fleet. Their situation will not return to normal soon since buses will need to run at 30% capacity with only 50% of the fleet operating when the city goes from red to yellow. <This is for you statistics junkies – all you’ve gotten for a long time is coronavirus statistics.> The normal ridership on weekdays during the school year is 363,892 and 174,022 on weekends. When school’s out, the weekday ridership is 303,391 with 174,022 on weekends. With schools closed and many workers telecommuting, the buses may not recover the same number of riders.

Plataforma de Narancay reopens – The plataforma de Narancay opened today, with hours from 7-12:00 and only lunes a viernes, after being disinfected. It had been closed since 27/4 because of an unplanned increase in people plus dozens of merchants from El Arenal who moved themselves to Narancay when El Arenal closed. Currently, there are about 90 retail vendors selling meat, fish, produce and abacería (groceries/non-perishables – our word for the day). The El Arenal market reopens on Tuesday. As the other mercados, minors, pregnant women, and adultos mayores (seniors) are not allowed in. Both vendors and customers must use masks and alcohol or antiseptic gel.

And that’s all for today so hasta ? –



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