There will be no driving restrictions as council defines new rules; Gov’t wants cities to coordinate travel rules; Local Covid cases at 5,700 but on the decline

Sep 16, 2020 | 7 comments

Martes, 15/9/2020

Hola, Todos –

Actividades –
De la pagina cultural –

Bicentenario – Repensar a Cuenca (Rethink Cuenca) – According to the Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Cencos, Cuenca has a population of a little over 700,000 and is continuing to extend towards the outskirts of the city. The article is about the need for planning a sustainable and equitable city.

Otras cosas –

Titular – No habrá “pico y placa” (There will be no “peak and plate”) – The Concejo Cantonal met this afternoon for the first debate on the ordinance to define the biosecurity measures to prevent contagions. It won’t be definite until el viernes. The draft of the ordinance completely eliminates the pico y placa concept but does restrict driving late at night. The draft regulates diversion centers, entertainment, and the sale of liquors. Until the Concejo Cantonal decides which measures to implement, there will be no restrictions on movement, curfew, or dry law. Citizens are the only ones responsible for preventing this virus.

The Cuenca city council has decided to let all vehicles circulate without restrictions during daylight hours.

Mayor Palacios accepted that implementing a curfew is not in the city’s purview, and said there wasn’t time to prepare regulations that allow Cuenca to have an ordinance to face the pandemic. Councilman Cristian Zamora said that was no excuse since cities such as Quito, Guayaquil, or Ambato have regulations and had the same time to prepare them that Cuenca has. It’s been 2 months since the ordinance project was sent to the municipality. <Zamora is right – it’s not as if the end of the state of emergency was some secret. Palacios seems to have peaked early when he got into office and sold some city cars and cut staff – maybe mostly drivers.>

The second and definitive debate on the ordinance will be el viernes so that new measures could be in effect el sábado in the morning. The draft includes restrictions on businesses to operate at 50% of normal capacity and close at 00:00 at the latest. Tourist establishments need to get a Cuenca Biosegura badge to operate, and all need to comply with biosecurity protocols. Massive public shows will continue to be prohibited, but event salons, theaters, movie theaters, gyms, and training centers can operate at 30% of capacity. The pico y placa will end, but the council is analyzing the hours vehicles can circulate. The possibility is from 5:00 to between 21:00 and 23:00 and people driving outside of those hours need to show a salvoconducto or institutional card.

Hospitales toman sus propias previsiones (Hospitals make their own forecasts) – the Coordenación Zonal 6 de Salud has adopted its own measures including a mobile hospital to treat non-Covid emergencies, constant monitoring of cases, and control over cases. These are part of a contingency plan in case a return to normal activities increases cases.

Currently, Azuay has had 7,715 cases with 5,730 in Cuenca. ICU beds are full at the regional and IESS hospitals and at the Homero Castanier hospital in Azogues. There have been 280 deaths in Cuenca public hospitals with 20 in the last 7 days. The number of infections and deaths have dropped during the past week.

Servicio de buses los domingos (Bus service on Sundays) – The CTC announced that starting this week, there will be bus service los domingos. It is also analyzing how to return to normal evening service although a lot depends on the demand. The president of the CTC said buses are deisinfected every day and cleaned according to protocols. <I’m imagining an army of those windshield cleaners swarming over a bus with their bottles of soap and squeegees.>

Inicia emisión del pasaporte electrónico (Issuance of Electronic passports begin) – Ayer, Ecuador began issuing electronic passports which contain a chip with the biometric information of the holder. This is one requirement for Ecuador to be on the list of countries with free access to the Schengen zone. Pres. Moreno received the first passport at the offices of the Registro Civil in Quito. Old passports will be good until their expiration dates. In the coming months, they will only be issued in Cuenca, Quito, and Guayaquil, but delivery to consulates all over the world will start at the end of noviembre.

Azuay registra 618,406 electores (Azuay registers 618,406 voters) – There are 290,688 men and 327,718 women on the voter rolls for the 2021 election.

Producción mejora con la poda de los árboles (Production improves with tree pruning) – The Ministerio de Agricultura y Ganadería is prioritizing pruning fruit trees during this time of year to increase agricultural production. Pruning should be done from julio until septiembre or a little later depending on the fruit. This time of year is also known as “agostamiento” (withering – our word for the day) which is when trees lose their leaves. 60% of small and medium growers practiced pruning in years past, but the percentage has fallen to 20% partly due to young people migrating to cities for non-agricultural work. MofAG is providing training to growers.

Prefectura prepara la fiesta de “Killa Raymi” (Prefecture prepares the celebration of “Killa Raymi”) – The Gobierno Provincial del Azuay will celebrate “Killa Raymi-Tarpuy Pacha (Tiempo de la siembra 2020 (Sowing time 2020)” with 2 events. There will be a virtual talk mañana a las 15:00 on Agroecological planting and food sovreignty. There will be a traditional <except for the masks> ancestral ceremony el domingo a las 12:00. The location will be announced shortly and everything will be done under strict biosecurity measures.

Municipios deben elaborar matriz nacional de circulación (Municipalities must prepare a national circulation matrix) – Different cities have adopted different restrictive measures, or none at all in the case of Cuenca, since the end of the state of emergency. Juan Zapata, national director of ECU-911, asked the Asociación de Municipalidades del Ecuador (AME) to prepare a unified matrix of measures adopted by the Cantonal COEs. He said he didn’t want the country divided into 221 jurisdictions with different rules, and cited the differences in circulation according to plate numbers between Guayaquil and Cuenca with Quito’s system which involves switching numbers every month. <Going to make a road trip a real nightmare. You’re legal in Cuenca, but not in the next canton.>

And that’s all for today so Hasta ? –



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