Odd-even driving restrictions in effect; Ignoring health rules keeps infections high; Cop arrested in Galapagos turtle theft; Drivers’ protest ends
Hello everyone –
De la pagina cultural –
Clases de batería gratuitas (Free drum lessons) – Yamaha Drums Ecuador is organizing free drum classes with Frank Guerrero on 3/4 a las 16:00 on the Facebook page of Yamaha Drums Ecuador where you will also find information about the “master class.”
Del cuerpo del periodico –
Azogues conmemora 196 años de su cantonización (Azogues commemorates 196 years of its cantonization) – Between Tuesday and el 15/5, Azogues has scheduled about 40 events for its 196 anniversary as a canton. The events will observe biosecurity protocols. Some of the events include “La Ruta de las Iglesias” from 9-15:00 mañana in La Vieja Estación de Ferrrocarril (av. 16 de Abril y Alberto Ochoa); the election of the Azogueñita 2021 el sábado 10/4 starting at 15:00 in the Salón de la Ciudad; and a Feria Artesanal el viernes, 16/4 from 9:00 on calle Simón Bolívar between Solano y Sucre; and the Festival Interparroquial de Música Nacional el viernes, 30/4 a las 19:00 in the Coliseo Tipo Mil.
Otras cosas –
Titular – El virus contraataca (The virus strikes back) – A study done in Cuenca by academics and researchers showed that preventive measures against Covid declined in the last months because of the lengthy time of exposure to the pandemic and a false sense of security from vaccinations. Only 5% of the population has been vaccinated, but social distancing, use of masks and handwashing are less frequent. The researchers reported that since octubre, observance of social distancing has fallen from 94 to 74% of the population, the use of masks has been reduced by 2%, and disinfecting and washing hands has fallen by 10%. <Are you in that group that is getting casual about pandemic safety? I hope not, both for your sake and everyone else’s sakes.>
People are under the impression that the start of vaccinations means an immediate exit from the pandemic. Bernardo Vega, a doctor and researcher a the U. of Cuenca said people are not informed about the vaccine. For example, the Pfizer vaccine has an effectiveness of 80% after the first dose but that is only reached 3 weeks after the vaccination, and the 2nd dose should be given after 21 days, although England is waiting up to 45 days to give the 2nd dose. Vega said 95% effectiveness is reached up to 4 weeks after the 2nd dose. In Cuenca, doctors who received their first doses over 21 days ago and have not been called for a 2nd dose are worried about the delay. The MSP announced that the time lapse can be extended to 42 days, although it is working to reduce that number. The Coordinación Zonal 6 de Salud announced that ICU beds in public hospitals are at 94% occupancy and at 74% in private hospitals.
Vacunación continúa (Vaccination continues) – Since the beginning of the week, 1,152 seniors who were on the waiting list for first doses were vaccinated at the coliseo Jefferson Pérez and at the UPS. In the upcoming days, more doses will be given as the vaccines arrive from the central plant. <I hope this central plant isn’t somewhere in Belgium.> The beneficiaries will be notified by phone. <I hope those of you whose Spanish is weak or non-existant registered your facilitator’s phone numbers. It would be a shame to miss your vaccine because you couldn’t understand the person on the other end of the line.>
Orden para revelar listas de vacunados (Order to reveal list of those vaccinated) – The Defensora del Pueblo in Azuay, Verónica Aguirre, said that constitutional judge has ordered the MSP to deliver the list of those vaccinated in Azuay within 5 days to determine if people who were not on the Phase 0 priority list got vaccines, and iniciate legal proceedings if they did. Aguirre maintained that the MSP is violating the rights of Ecuadorians in not publishing the list. The release of the list was the reason 2 coordinadores zonales from Quito and Guayaquil quit, and influenced the resignations of 2 ex-ministers of health. Mauro Falconí, the current minstro de Salud has asked all officials at the MSP at the local level to make their positions available (offer their resignations). The Zone 6 coordinator, Julio Molina, has been ratified in his position. The manager of the Vicente Corral Moscoso hospital, along with his peers in the country, have been asked to make their positions available.
Protesta de choferes termina en incidentes (Drivers’ protest ends in incidents) – A protest by owners and drivers of interprovincial passenger buses ended in incidents against owners and drivers of urban vans. Representatives of the tourist vans complained that protesters threw rocks at their vehicles and destroyed a window. The problems occurred on the vía Cuenca-Molleturo-El Empalme where a private vehicle wound up with broken windows. The Policía Nacional intervened to prevent more problems. Complaints were made by a van driver for TURCAP that protestors threw rocks and destroyed a window. The driver of a private car who was not carrying any passengers said he was intercepted at the Y de Sayausí on his way to pick up a family member at the Guayaquil airport. The president of the Unión de Cooperativas de Transñporte Interprovincial of Azuay (UCTIPA) dismissed the idea that union members caused the damage. He blamed falling rocks. <You can come to your own conclusion.> He also asked the Comisión de Tránsito del Ecuador (CTE) to increase their surveillance of national roads to prevent unauthorized vehicles from transporting passengers.
Estudios sobre transporte (Transportation studies) – A 2017 study by the Cámara de Turismo de Azuay (CTA) asked 1,099 people about the need for van service. In Cuenca, 80.45% of those surveyed said that had taken vans to destinations such as Guayaquil, Loja, and Quito.
Habrá control en las vías e impedirán aglomeración (There will be road controls and crowd prevention) – Part of the plans for the Semana Santa holiday will include increased controls on the roads leaving and entering Azuay, and at terminal terrestres, tourist attractions, and parks among other locations where large numbers of people gather. The Policía Nacional will deploy 757 officers to prevent crimes from 12:00 el jueves, 1/4, to 6:00 el lunes, 5/4. They will be looking at drivers’ documentation and reminded drivers to not speed. They also pointed out that there are roads with radars to catch speeders.
Driving restrictions over the weekend from El Mercurio on-line –
The National Emergency Operations Committee (COE) corrected the vehicle restriction that it had announced for the Easter holiday. This Tuesday, March 30, 2021, it announced how the circulation will be on the national road network:
Thursday, April 1: No odd plate numbers can circulate after 12:00 (noon).
Friday April 2: No even numbered plates can circulate all day. Free movement for odd numbered plates.
Saturday April 3: No odd numbers can circulate all day. Free movement for even plates.
Sunday April 4: No even plates can circulate all day. Free movement for odd plates.
These measures are for private vehicles and for intra and interprovincial transport. In addition, they must work at 50% of the scheduled trips and at 70% capacity. <Note that these restrictions are on national roads. Cuenca might have different or no restrictions on city roads.>
Policía afrontará juicio directo acusado de fallido envíode tortugas a Guayaquil (A policeman accused of trying to ship turtles to Guayaquil will face direct trial) – On the morning of 18/3, the X-ray machine operators in the airport on the Isla Baltra detected 185 young turtles in a suitcase bound for Guayaquil. The Chelonoidis turtles are protected wildlife and on the red list of endangered species. Security cameras caught the policeman, in his patrol car, transporting 2 suitcases to the airport and leaving them in the cargo area. A judge sentenced the cop to preventive prison for 20 days for the audiencia de procedimiento directo (direct procedural hearing). This procedure concentrates all phases of the process in a single final judging hearing. <That was your civics lesson for the day.>
Gobierno avanza en proceso de transición (Government advances in transition process) – Ayer, Pres. Moreno installed a Techical Table to the Transition Committee which is in charge of processing all the information that public institutions delivered last Mon. to be remitted to the incoming president. The UN Program for Development (PNUD) will help with the first phase of the project to guarantee continuity in government projects. PNUD will bring the Sigob program (Sistema de Información de Gestión para la Gobernabilidad Democrática – Management Information System for Democratic Governance) which has been implemented in over 30 countries <which apparently does not include the US if an orderly transition of power is supposed to be the end result>. In Ecuador, the platform includes 131 projects which the current administration suggests continuing, 65 laws in progress, 465 contracts, and 188 databases.
And that’s all for today so Hasta ? –