Pandemic drives unemployment higher; Sinovac outlines Ecuador pharma plan; Retirees protest possible IESS privitization; Cañar Carnaval schedule
Hola, Todos –
See article below in “Region” for carnaval activities in Cañar
“No hay…llame otro día” (“There aren’t any…call another day.”) – As typical for the past years, affiliates of the Instituto Ecuatoriano de Seguridad Social (IESS – <for those of you who know what IESS is, but not what the letters stand for>) are protesting the lack of appointments to get medical treatment. <Reminds me of a float in one comparsas parade that looked like an ambulance with lettering on it: “IESS – 1(800) NUNCA” One hopeful patient could not get an appointment after two months and said that she thought the poor service might be deliberate to the point that the solution to the problem would be to privatize IESS. <Should make some gringos happy – getting rid of socialized medicine because it doesn’t work. Of course the downside is the cost of private insurance and care. You can’t have your cake and eat it too.> El Mercurio tried to get an official statement on this issue from the Dirección Provincial del IESS Azuay, but it wasn’t possible by the close of the issue. <No hay…llame otro día?>
Compromiso para la producción de vacunas (Commitment to vaccine production) – On este miércoles, 23/2, the Ministerio de Salud Pública (MSP) signed an agreement of cooperation with the pharmaceutical company Sinovac. The Chinese government and Sinovac approved this project in Ecuador on el 11/2, with Sinovac presenting a tentative schedule of planned activities up to 2032. There will be 3 areas of work: 1) Conducting clinical trials in Ecuador, 2) Technical, scientific and technology strengthening and transfer, and (3 The process of training and transmission of knowledge. Health minister Ximena Garzón said that Ecuador has prioritized the construction of a vaccine factory for Covid-19 and others from the regular vaccination schedule. The task is to have an integrated plan for the scientific evolution of the country. <And now the race is on for the cities hoping to be the site of this factory.>
Jubilados se auto convocaron nuevamente para protestar (Pensioners called themselves together to protest again) – Este miércoles was the 4th protest by retirees nationally, held in different cities to raise their voices and demand their rights. The protest in Cuenca was in the Glorieta at the parque Calderón. Members of the Craftsmen’s Guild also attended and expressed outrage at the intention of the government to privatize IESS, and to support the retirees in their call to go back to the old system of calculating pensions.
HVCM reactiva el servicio de rehabilitación para pacientes (HVCM reactivates patient rehabilitation service) – The Hospital Vicente Corral Moscoso has resumed outpatient rehabilitation that had been suspended drung the pandemic. Just in enero of this year 1,231 patients were treated, mostly after strokes or car accidents. The hospital also has new equipment, purchased with an investment of $97 million including a traction table, equipment for short wave magnetic therapy, electro-stimulation, ultrasound, heaters and coolers for compresses, walkers, ankle retrainer, Swedish ladder, and more. The services are available to patients entering the hospital and needing rehab, language, and respiratory therapy; and electrotherapy, hydrotherapy, and gym.
Recursos genéticos (Genetic resources) – Ecuador announced the creation of the Centro Nacional de Recursos Genéticos Corea-Ecuador to protect and preserve important genetic resources from an environmental, agro-alimentary, economic, and cultural perspective for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. This will be funded by $9 million from the Agencia de Cooperación Internacional de Corea.
Cañar tiene ruta carnavalera (Cañar has carnival route) – Cañar is reviving its traditional carnaval activities with dance, autochthonous music, tourist routes, gastronomic festivals, and shows. The authorities of the 7 cantons prepared over 40 activities to attract tourists. The festivities are divided into 4 main groups.
1) The “Lalay Raymi” is of the Cañari people and will be in Biblián, Cañar, El Tambo, and Suscal.
Biblián – Sábado a las 13:00 – parade with carros alegóricos (floats) through the downtown streets. Domingo, lunes y martes a las 13:00 – carnaval “Naxón 2022” along the banks of the río Burgay.
Cañar – Viernes a las 9:00 – comparsas parade through downtown, presentation of the taita carnaval, and a show. Sábado a las 9:00 – carnaval programs from the Honorato Vásquez and General Morales campesino organizations, and the Juncal Parish Junta – in the parish centers. Domingo a las 9:00 – the Chontamarca campesino organization and the Ingapirca parish junta. Lunes a las 8:30 – a traditional program in Tucayta with music and dance.
El Tambo – Viernes a las 9:00 – comparsas parade through downtown.
Lunes a las 11:00 – a program produced by the Unión Cantonal de Organizaciones Indígenas de El Tambo.
Suscal – Lunes from 9:30 – activities in the streets in the centro with folkloric parades, cultural programs and more.
2) The carnaval de la Mancomunidad de las Parroquias Orientales of Azogues will involve the territories of Luis Cordero, Taday, Pindilig, and Rivera with the main headquarters in Taday. Domingo a las 9:00 – carnaval parade from the community of Santa Teresita to the parish center in Taday ending with the election of the “Cholita de Carnaval.”
3) La Troncal carnaval route will start tomorrow.
Viernes a las 13:00 a 18:00 – activities in the streets ending at 18:00 in parque El Zafrero with a presentation of comparsas and a musical show. Lunes a las 13:00 – various orchestras in the La Puntilla sector. Martes a las 13:00 – various orchestras in the Cochanday site.
Domingo a las 10:00 – parade through the streets in the center to the beaches on the río Deleg. Part of the event will be the election of the best comparsa and float. Presentations by musical groups.
Más de 100 mil perdieron sus empleos (More than 100,000 people lost their jobs) – Unemployment has grown again. The unemployment rate went from 5.4% in 12/2021 to 4.1% in enero, the equivalent of 101,848 people left without work at the start of 2022. <This doesn’t make sense to me – were the %’s reversed?> According to the National Survey on Employment, Unemployment, and Underemployment conducted by the INEC, 458,573 people are unemployed representing 5.4% of the economically active workng population. This is the 4th highest rate since the beginning of the pandemic. The highest was in 5/2020 with an unemployment rate of 13.3%. Along with an increase in unemployment, there was a major loss in full employment. In 1/2022, only 33.1% people had adequate employment defined as earning the Salario Básico Unificado (SBU), working 40 hours a week, and receiving Social Security. Even in the informal sector, the percentage of underemployment was at 22.6% in 1/2022 and at 23% in 12/2021.
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.