Push for Cuenca-Guayaquil flights; Lasso meets 9 million vaccine goal in 100 days, aims for 85% vax rate in 30 days; Earthquakes rock Morona Santiago

Sep 2, 2021 | 16 comments

Miércoles, 1/9/2021

Hola, Todos –

Actividades –

Charla de astronomía (Astronomy talk) – The Club de Astronomía Cruz del Sur will hold a talk about ancestral astronomy of the equatorial Andes mañana a las 19:00 in the Planetarium with limited seating.

Curso de guitarra (Guitar class) – There will be a free guitar class starting el viernes, 6/9 <Don’t ask me if it’s supposed to be the 6th or viernes – I’m not a mindreader.> in the Casa de la Juventud (calle Latinoamericana y Brasil) in the El Batán sector. Classes will be lunes, miércoles, y viernes in las matutinas y vespertinas (mornings or evenings – and why drag out these almost never seen versions of morning and evening?) Register at https://bit.ly/3yA09Os.

Titular –

No exigir comprar libros ni uniformes (No need to buy books or uniforms) – The coordinator of the Ministerio de Educación in Zone 6, Joana Abad, said that students returning to class, should get a uniform that identifies the school, but that they do not need to get the complete uniforms which can cost over $100. She talked about getting books and other educational materials in a more economic manner by prioritizing the most crucial books and making copies of others. Students can use the supplies they bought for previous years instead of getting all new supplies.

Cuenca –

With the Cuenca-Guayaquil highway closed, the city is asking airlines to add flights between the cities.

Trasplante de órganos se fortalece (Organ transplant gets stronger) – The Instituto Nacional de Donación y Trasplante de Órganos, Tejidos y Células (INDOT – National Institute for Organ, Tissue and Cell Donation and Transplantation) signed an agreement with LATAM Airlines at the Hospital Vicente Corral Moscoso. LATAM will transport organs, tissue and cells as well as surgical teams for free on the routes it operates in Ecuador. 84 transplant surgeries were performed in Ecuador up to abril, and from mayo to date, this number has exceeded 170. The MSP will be the organization that will coordinate the donation program and in charge of the quality of the organs, finding donors, legal and organizational aspects, managment, communication and audits of brain dead patients. LATAM’s contribution will ease the costs and logistics of getting organs to those who need them.

Más dosis de Pfizer arriban al país (More doses of Pfizer arrive in the country) – 321,750 doses of the Pfizer vaccine arrived in the Aeropuerto Mariscal Sucre in Quito este martes. With this shipment, over 22 million doses have come from different pharmaceutical companies. Of these doses, 2,716,710 were donations from countries such as Chile, China, the US, Spain and Canada <Sounds like Canada realized they didn’t need to innoculate each Canadian 5 times over.>.

200 días de clases (200 days of classes) – 1,744,330 students in the Sierra and Amazonía have registered for this school year, 1,391,212 in public schools (instituciones fiscales), and 217,5112 in private schools (particulares). Each student can study in face-to-face classes, hybrid classes, or at home as the parents or guardians decide. <Why can’t schools in the US be so sensible? Maybe because of teachers’ unions since it’s a lot more work for teachers.>

Especial –

Hay más problemas de fondo (There are more underlying problems) – Pres. Lasso has basically acccomplished one of his main goals in his first 100 days in office – to vaccinate 9 million Ecuadorians. For experts, this has brought political yields, allowing economic reactivation, but this will not last forever. Now he needs to present concrete proposals which still are not clear. Ayer, Lasso mentioned that he took the country from a scarcity of vaccines to one of abundance and emphasized that his Government would be austere, taking care of Ecuadorian public funds. He said that we have to fight against the despilfarro (squandering, wasting – your word for the day because I like the way it looks) of the funds of the citizens, to be more efficient, spend less, produce more, and provide quality services with less money since the money belongs to the 17.5 million Ecuadorians.

Lasso currently has a 70% approval rating from his handling of the pandemic, but there are many more issues still pending including labor and tax reforms, reactivating the economy, and generating employment. Several of his campaign promises have had to be put on hold. One is tax reform which was announced on on el 24/5, but has not been sent to the Asamblea since he does not know if he will have enough votes to pass it. Nor does he know if there enough votes to pass the Proforma Budget. For these reasons, Lasso has been governing by decree. In these 100 days, he has issued 179 decrees to meet as many goals as he can without support from the Asamblea, but this tactic is running out.

Nombramiento de autoridades (Appointment of authorities) – Ayer, Pres. Lasso named Galo Robalino as the head of the Centro Inteligencia Estratégica (CIES – Strategic Intelligence Center), Ralph Suástegui as the manager of the Corporación Nacional de Telecomunicaciones (CNT). Suástegui was the secretary general of the Presidency and will be replaced by José Yunes. Lasso wished his appointees the “best of success,” and asked them to read the Códico de Ética (Code of Ethics) which obligates government officials to comply with rules such as avoiding nepotism and running their administrations being careful of the resources of the Federal businesses. <Seems like too many previous appointees used this Code as kindling for their BBQs.>

Lasso pasó una prueba de fuego (Lasso passed a test by fire) – 7 de septiembre will be the 100th day of Pres. Lasso’s administration. <Depending on how you count, the 100th day was either today or the 7th.> Vaccinating 9 million people and improvements in the public health system were goals for these 100 days, and Ximena Garzón, minister of Public Health announced that 8,900,000 people have been vaccinated, completing the goal. <As they say, close enough for government work.> She also said that by late noviembre, all of the population over 12 years old will be vaccinated, and that Ecuador will reach herd immunity when 85% of the population has been vaccinated. A 60 day state of emergency has been declared for the MSP so that it can acquire a set of 123 medications to avoid severe morbidity and mortality in patients due to a lack of medicines. From 8-13/9, the MSP will start vaccinating adolescents from 12 to 15 years old.

Region –

Urge ruta aérea hacia Guayaquil (Urging air route to Guayaquil) – Re-establishing flights between Cuenca and Guayaquil is an alternative to the Cuenca-Molleturo highway that has been closed indefinitely due to a major landslide. Local authorities and the tourist industry see it as necessary and urgent in order to avoid more economic losses. The last flight between the two cities was el 17/3/2020.

Capacidad de aeropuerto (Airport capacity) – Marcelo Carvallo, director of the Corporación Aeroportuaria de Cuenca (CORPAC), said that air service between Cuenca and Guayaquil does not depend on CORPAC but on the airlines and plane owners. CORPAC is maintaining dialogues with those businesses. He said airlines should study the possibility of flights considering demand and their fleet, and analizing costs and competitive prices. Carvallo said that the airport infrastructure is designed for more flights from around the country.

Gualaquiza, epicentro de dos sismos (Gualaquiza, epicenter of two earthquakes) – Gualaquiza canton in Morona Santiago was the epicenter of 2 earthquakes ayer. the first was at 4:00 with a magnitude of 5.11, and the 2nd was at 6:36 with a 4.42 magnitude. The city reported no damage, and the Servicio Nacional de Gestión de Riesgos y Emergencias (SNGRE – National Risk and Emergency Management Service) reported that the quakes were felt in the neighboring provinces of Azuay, Cañar, Bolívar and Chimborazo.

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.


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