Pressure builds for use of Russian, Chinese vaccines; Nabon wants to promote local ‘tequila’; Chile leads world in vaccinations; Av. Solano revitalization plan
Hola, Todos –
Otras cosas –
Titular – Docentes con nuevo escalafón (Teachers with new ranks) – After 2 years of discussion, the Asamblea Nacional approved a reform to the Ley Orgánica de Educación Intercultural which established a new escalafón (promotion ladder/ salary scale – our word for the day) for teachers which has 10 categories and a beginning salary of at least 2.5 SBUs (Salarios basicos), currently $1,000. The reform would also allow teachers to take a special retirement after 300 contributions to IESS (25 years) or a retirement pension after 370 contributions (30 years). The 6.200 schools that were closed with the creation of the Escuelas del Milenio will be reopened. It was found that the Escuelas del Milenio caused the dropping out of students who did not have the resources to mobilize in these educational centers. The Ser Bachiller test which evaluates high school students will not be used as an admission tool to enter higher education. Universities and polytechnic schools will need to create their own admissions requirements.
Lentitude y dudas sobre la Fase 1 de vacunación (Slowness and doubts about Phase 1 vaccination) – The slow progress of Phase 1 vaccinations is worrying doctors who confirmed an increase of cases in the last week. While the Municipio de Cuenca asked the national government for permission to import different brands of vaccines, doubts grew about the effectiveness of the Sinovac vaccines which Chile donated to Ecuador last week as well as about the restriction Ecuador is placing on importing more brands of vaccines.
The new ministro de Salud, Rodolfo Farfán, said the number of people vaccinated in the first half of the year should reach 2 million. Cuenca Mayor Pedro Palacios said he has been talking to manufacturers including Sputnik and Sinovac about directly importing vaccines, but the Ministerio de Salud Pública (MSP) has not opened the door for this type of purchase. The MSP said that brands such as Sputnik don’t have the endorsement of health agencies in the US and Europe. Epidemiologist Andrea Gómez Ayora said that position has nothing to stand on since Ecuador has its own regulatory agency (ARCSA) and its Chilean counterpart approved vaccines such as Sinovac and is vaccinating its population much more quickly.
As to vaccine efficiency, Gómez indicated that Pfizer’s is 95% effective, Moderna – 94%, Sputnik – 92%, AstraZeneca -82.4%, and Sinovac – 78%. She also said that Sinovac had different results in different countries with Brasil at 50.38% and Turkey at 83%. <It would be ironic if the Sinovac vaccine was tested mostly on Asians with lower effectiveness in other groups.> The Pfizer vaccine is 52% effective at one dose, and all are 100% effective at preventing deaths from Covid. Minister Farfán reported 68,224 people have been vaccinated with about 4,000 in Azuay. Over the weekend, the Unión de Periodistas del Azuay (UPA) said it had received an invitation to be part of the vaccination program but didn’t accept so that those doses could go to vulnerable populations. <Like bigwigs’ families and friends?>
Presupuestos de EMOV, Farmasol y EMUCE a debate (Budgets of EMOV, Farmasol and EMUCE ino debate) – The operating plans of the 3 municipal businesses were presented to the Concejo Cantonal de Cuenca yeserday. Farmasol’s income of $21.15 million came from sales of medicines, supplies and pharmaceuticals. It is one of the most profitable of the municipal businesses. La Empresa Municipal de Cementerios (EMUCE – Municipal Cemetery Company) increased it’s proforma from $2.7 to $3.9 million, mostly through loan proceeds which were used to build niches, pits to store ashes, and trees. EMOV’s budget went from $30 to $34.4 million, also through loan proceeds. Their annual plan included a new jail for traffic law offenders, a vehicle rentention center, and technical inspection center.
Proyecto para revializar la avenida Solano (Project to revitalize Solano avenue) – Architects Pedro José Delgado and Luis Felipe Pinos designed a project for the urban and architectural revitalization of the underutilized spaces on av. Solano. The proposal was the architects’ thesis project at the UDA and would change Solano to the avenida de Las Artes and add a variety of uses with primary focus on continuous artistic activities along the length of the avenue.
Hombre es hallado muerto en el Yanuncay (Man found dead in the Yanuncay) – About 16:30 ayer, a more or less 60 year old man was seen in the Yanuncay in the Tres Puentes sector and was being carried away by the current. Witnesses called emergency, and firefighters pulled the body from the river. The area around Primero de Mayo y calle Carlos Quinto was cordoned off. Police have started investigations to determine the man’s identity, if he fell into the water or something else, and his cause of death. Rescue agencies are recommending that citizens don’t get close to the river banks since the rains have weakened them and they can be slippery. They also suggested “no fishing.”
Nabon quiere poteniar su “tequila” (Nabon wants to enhance its “tequila”) – The Minicipalidad de Nabón wants to encourage businesses that make the artesanal liquor “Chaguarmishqui.” <That sounds like what comes the night before the next day’s chuchaqui (hangover – you’re not going to find that in your Spanish dictionary).> Mayor Patricio Maldonado met with representatives of the Mexican embassy to create alliances between local distillers <Is tequila distilled?> and Mexican cities where tequila is produced so that there can be an exchange of knowledge. Currently, Chaguarmishqui is made in Ñamarín y el Rodeo, the Cochapata parish, Puetate, and El Progresso parish. One brand is “Licor Chaguarmishqui Don Capelo” which is sold domestically.
Brasil – En aguas residuales había COVID, en Brasil, en 2019 (There was COVID in wastewater in Brazil in 2019) – Researchers at the Universidad española de Burgos and the Universidad Federal brasileña de Santa Catarina found that there was Covid in the waste water from Florianópolis, Brazil in 2019. This indicates that SARS-CoV-2 was probably circulating undetected in Brazil since noviembre, 2019 – almost 2 months before the first case was announced in América on 21/1/2020, and before the first clinical cases in Wuhan China which were announced at the end of diciembre, 2019. The virus was detected with different systems reommended by the disease control centers in the US and Europe and confirmed by an independent lab. The relevance of the study is that 27/11/2019 was the first time the presence of Covid RNA was detected worldwide, and it implies that the virus was present and circulating on the American continent at least from that date. <So are there any labs in Florianópolis experimenting with viruses and diseases and will Covid now be the Brazil flu instead of the China flu or kung flu?>
Chile ya es el país que más rápido vacuna en el mundo (Chile is the country that vaccinates the fastest in the world) – Today Chile became the country that was vaccinating its citizens the fastest with an average of 1.08 doses per 100 people this past week, surpassing Israel which was vaccinating 1.03 per 100.
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.