‘Stay off the streets,’ police warn, Shopping by cedula number, Gringa arrested after facelift, Internet use up 50%, Help for the homeless

Apr 2, 2020 | 29 comments

Miércoles, 1/4/2020

Hola, Todos –

Actividades –

Otras cosas –

Titular – Fortalecen medidas sanitarias en Cuenca (Sanitary measures in Cuenca strengthened) – See Tuesday’s article in CHL.

Salen a las calles pese a restricción (Taking to the streets despite restriction) – Yesterday morning vehicles with license plates ending in all numbers, pedestrians, and informal vendors were common in areas such as the Plaza Cívica, Av., Huana Cápac, San Blas, Feria Libre, De Las Américas and neighborhoods in the north and south of the city. People were gathered in San Blas awaiting the baskets from the Province and informal vendors had returned to the area around the 9 de octubre and Feria Libre mercados. There were lines of customers at neighborhood tiendas and people jogging and walking dogs in the parks. The mayor said that the Guardia Ciudadana and EMOV are stepping up controls and asking the citizenry to respect the limitations on movement.

A sanitation worker carries out the city’s anti-viral spraying program. (El Mercurio)

Controls at mercados – Extreme measures are being taken at the mercados. The 12 de Abril has been closed and was fumigated after the death of an 80-year-old vendor from viral pneumonia who tested positive for COVID-19. She worked in the fruit and vegetable section, but stopped working on 17/3. The Ministerio de Salud Pública (MSP) created an epidemiological containment for the people who had contact with her. <That sounds just about impossible – how many customers would they be able to identify?> The Mayor said that the mercado will be closed until health authorities advise differently and reminded people that adultos mayores (older adults – your words for the day), pregnant women <duh, who else gets pregnant except maybe Arnold Schwarzenegger?>, and people with catastrophic illnesses should not go into the mercados.

Shopping at El Arenal, the largest mercado in the city, will depend on the last digit of your cedula. If it’s 1 or 2, you can shop on lunes; 3 & 4 can shop on martes. The mercado is closed on miércoles; and numbers 5 & 6 can shop el jueves; 7 & 8 can shop el viernes; the mercado is closed el sábado; and 9 & 0 can shop on domingo. <You can restrict things based on cedulas where the traffic has to walk in. How would you do that for driving? Stop each and every car on the road when the cop can easily read a license plate number?> The hours for the mercados are 7-12:00, only one person per family can shop, and only 30 people can be in the mercado at the same time. Use of mascarillas, guantes y gel desinfectante (masks, gloves and sanitizing gel – more words for the day.) is mandatory. <You’d have to start lining up at 5 am to get into El Arenal, and you could only do that if you lived next door.>

The city Fire Department started fumigating streets and sidewalks yesterday, starting in the Centro Histórico. The city has a schedule for disinfecting the neighborhoods and parishes and asked people to stay inside during the disinfecting process. They are also asking people not to park on the road. <Does that disinfectant work by stripping a layer of paint off along with the virus?> Paute is also disinfecting public areas. <In the photos from Cuenca, they’re using tanker trucks to spray. In Paute the photo shows a crew with push brooms spreading liquid dribbled from the chute of a ready mix concrete truck.>

Help for homeless – The Ministerio de Inclusión Económica y Social (MIES) is providing temporary shelter to 24 people in Totoracocha and 50 in the El Paraíso sector during the quarantine. Single men and families are housed separately. Most are Venezuelans who will continue their journey after the emergency. Other street people with alcohol and drug problems are sent to specialized centers.

Online classes and “teletrabajo” (telecommuting) – The increased use of the internet by students from primary to post graduate and people working online has increased demand for connectios by 50% and generated inconveniences due to the volume of users. Students in public primary and high schools can go to https://recursos2.educacion.gob.ec for classwork. For consultations, call WhatsApp 0958930594 or 0992425040 or go to info@educacion.gob.ec. High school students can go to virtual classrooms at https://avabachillerato.educacion.gob.ec. The hours of access for teachers and students is 13-18:00.

Genome – The Universidad de San Francisco de Quito has sequenced a strain of COVID-19 which was taken from a Dutch tourist, the first patient in Quito. Researchers can learn about the aggressiveness of this strain which is circulating in Ecuador, is older than, and with fewer mutations than the original in China. It is also different from the strains in Italy and Spain. The strain has been named “hCoV19/Ecuador/HEE_01/2020.” The research will be useful when a vaccine is developed.

Police page –

Citizen confused with rustler – A man who had bought a dressed cow for family use was taking it to be refrigerated when he was stopped by people who accused him of cattle rustling. <I don’t think rustlers take the time to slaughter and butcher cows, do they?> While he was trying to show that he’d bought the cow, two community leaders came and vouched for him. Because he was driving past the curfew, it was decided he should leave his pick up with a friend and retrieve it in the morning. But more people came, accusing him of being a thief, and overturned the car. The police arrived and rescued him, but the cow was spoiled when the truck was overturned.

ATM machine robbed – An ATM machine in Chlluabamba was robbed yesterday morning. The thieves first forced open a window and door and then used a welder to cut the metal surround on the ATM machine. This was in the same area of another ATM robbery. In 10/2019, thieves attached a cable to the mahine and pulled it out of the wall with a pickup truck. The destroyed machine was found days later, along with the truck, abandoned in the Victoria del Portete parish.

Gringa arrested – A patient at a local hospital was arrested in her hotel after managing to walk out of the hospital without paying the bill for a facelift. She managed to unhook herself from the IV, got dressed and evidently sneaked out when the nurses were busy with other patients. An employee who asked not to be named, said that she had been a difficult, demanding patient and threatened to sue when she was disappointed in the results of the surgery, found the food below standard, the pillow too hard, and staff too slow to respond to the call button.* <No wonder the hospital called the cops on her. I hope they got a credit card guarantee.>

And that’s all for today so ‘Hasta Nunca’? Why am I bothering to translate? I’m not improving my Spanish any more, I’m tired of all the meanness on the internet, and I’m tired of reading about nothing but coronavirus. I guess out of sense of obligation to those of you who didn’t bother to learn enough Spanish to keep up with local news. And that is starting to run short.


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. The text between the carrots, or guillemets (< … >), is Jeanne’s personal opinion and not part of the news translation.


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