Presidential candidates selected; New Cuenca cases drop; Ecuador will have access to first vaccines; Seniors will get vaccines first

Aug 19, 2020 | 6 comments

Martes, 18/8/2020

Hola, Todos –

Actividades –
Nada.

Otras cosas –

Titular – Los jóvenes y sus propias propuestas (Young people and their own proposals) – The discussions about how to observe and celebrate Cuenca’s bicentennial were cut short by the pandemic. But the people doing the discussing did not include young people. Several young people were interviewed for this article.

After effects of Covid-19 – The constant fear of infection, the economic crisis and loss of loved ones because of the pandemic leave psychological after effects in people. The Ministerio de Salud, IESS and the Municipalidad are bringing free psychological assistance for anxiety, stress & depression brought on by the health emergency. Experts recommend avoiding too much information about Covid, adjusting to the new normal, and using your free time for productive activities. <So stop reading this right now, and go outside and take a walk. You know if you keep reading, I’ll eventually write something that will make you mad, increase your stress, and cause anxiety.>

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Cuenca’s hospitals continue to work at full capacity.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Ministerio de Salud Pública (MSP) has scheduled 2,800 appointments with psychologists at a national level. Daniela Maldonado, a clinical psychologist said that emotional reactions can range from fear of leaving the house, feeling useless, and taking blame for not doing enough to avoid the virus. There are other aggravating factors such as loss of a loved one, loss of employment and a reduction in income. <If none of the aggravating factors has happened to you, and your main complaint is you can’t go out and get a drink after 7 on weekends, think about being grateful for being able to complain. Not something you can do from 6′ under.>
To get psychological attention, dial <punch, hit, poke? What do you call it when the phone doesn’t have a dial. You kids under 30 have no idea what I’m talking about, do you?> 171 for the Ministerio de Salud Pública, go to the www.iess.gob.ec web page of the IESS to make an appoinment, and/or go to www.telesaludalcaldiacuenca.ec for the City of Cuenca.

Covid “highlights” – <Stop reading this item if you’re feeling information overload.> Cuenca reached 3,544 confirmed cases of which 2,881 patients have recovered. The increase of 200 cases in the last week was lower than the 250 and 300 cases in past weeks. Nationally, there is a 40,000 backlog in processing tests which might explain the lower number of cases. The number of critical patients has gone from a daily average of 64 to 71 yesterday, filling all the ICU beds once again. The Health Coordinator is expecting that there they will have 76 ventilators working by the weekend. The number of deaths has increased to 186 in hospital – 18 more than last week. The average number of deaths per day has increased from 2 to 3.

5 years in prison for Tuárez – Ex-priest and ex-president of the Consejo de Participatión Ciudadana, José Carlos Tuárez was sentenced to 5 years in prison for conspiracy to sell jobs and contracts in the public sector.

Complaint against ex-mayor – A complaint by Miriam Jara, an ex-official of ETAPA, filed against ex-mayor Cabrera 6 days before the 2019 elections, was archivada (dismissed?) by the Provincial Court in Azuay at the request of the head of the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office. The complaint was that managers and assistant managers at ETAPA were ordered to support Igualdad, the mayor’s party. The judgement said that Jara could not prove her complaint. The mayor said in spite of the repercussions of the complaint, including to his honor, he was not planning a counter complaint.

Candidates Picked – Political organizations have until this weekend to pick their candidates for president, vice-president and the assembly. For now, Guillermo Lasso, Álvaro Noboa and Gustavo Larrea have been confirmed. Yaku Pérez still needs to complete the internal election process which has left him as the only candidate for Pachakutic. There are a total of 10 presidenciables (a person who could be a candidate or president – your word for the day because I like how it’s constructed.) in the primary process.

New police substation – A new Unidad de Policía Comunitaria (UPC) “Gil Ramírez Dávalos” was opened in the Casa de los Deberes y Derechos on General Torres y Pres. Córdova next to the Plaza San Francisco. The station will provide better security in the area and has administrative offices and dormitory living space for about 20 officers to guarantee police presence.

Interview with Juan Carlos Zevallos, Minister of Health – Zevallos said that Ecuador does not have the capacity to produce or develop vaccines. It lacks the needed technology, the labs, and DNA sequencers, but there is the possiblity that it could replicate the vaccination for regional distribution. He also doubted that Argentina or México had the ability. He said that Ecuador is part of the 120 nation Covax initiative, led by the WHO, through which all will have access to the vaccine in a timely manner at a reasonable cost. He has contacted Astra Zénica and the U. of Oxford to facilitate purchase of the vaccine and Pfizer expressing interest. He has spoken with Biontec, a subisidiary of Moderna and offered the possibility of testing the vaccine on Ecuadorians which has an ideal population <We’re all cuyes.> since it has people living at different latitudes, all races and ethnicities, 6.3% of its population is over 65, lots of pregnant people, and a well organized vaccination system. He said they would not use Russian or Chinese vaccines until all the technical data is available, and is hoping that Ecuador will receive the vaccines the same month they are distributed in the US. Ecuador is asking for 2 million doses which will first go to health workers treating Covid patients, police, armed forces and vulnerable populations – disabled, over 65 and pregnant. It will not go to the roughly 20% of Ecuadorians who have already had Covid since they have immunity.

And that’s all for today so Hasta ? –

Jeanne

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