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Supplies are arriving but more are needed; Cuenca will ‘respect’ the dead; Moreno sends fiscal stimulus bill to Assembly; Updated stats

Ecuador Health Minister Juan Carlos Zevallos says new equipment and medicine is arriving but says more are needed. “We are beginning to see a steady flow of personal protection gear, intensive care equipment and pharmaceuticals necessary to fight Covid-19,” he said. “Our challenge is getting it to the facilities that need it and, of course, we need more.”

Health Minister Juan Carlos Zevallos

He said that the more than 1,400 tests are being administered and processed each day. “We received 20,000 tests and reagents late this week and are supplied for at least two weeks,” Zevallos said. “A priority is to test health workers because if they get sick in large numbers the system could collapse.”

He expressed anger that almost 80,000 face masks were recovered from a “criminal hoarder” and are awaiting customs clearance at the port in Guayaquil. A man was arrested Thursday in Guayaquil when police found an estimated 35,000 masks, presumably stolen, in a clandestine warehouse. More masks are sitting on the docks awaiting customs clearance to be sent to hospitals. “Vandalism and thievery in this situation should be severely punished and we must have immediate access to materials that arrive from overseas,” he said.

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Zevallos thanked the government of China for a shipment of masks, respirators and medicine. “We need all the help we can get from our friends,” he said.

The health minister added that he was pleased to see a decline in new cases on Friday but says it is too early to tell if it is a trend. “We were fooled before and don’t know if one day’s numbers indicate a change. A lack of testing brings into question the validity of the larger picture.” Earlier in the week, Zevallos said he believed that new cases would peak late next week.

Zevallos repeated an earlier prediction that as many as two-thirds of all Ecuadorians will eventually contract Covid-19. “People should not have the false assumption that current restrictions mean they will not get the virus,” he said. “Some people won’t, but most will. Our plan, like that of most countries, is to flatten the short-term curve so our health system can deal with the critically ill. People will contract the virus for three to four months, and probably beyond, and this will build community immunity.”

Virus update

The dead will be respected in Cuenca
Azuay Province Governor Xavier Martínez said Friday that there will be no repeat in Cuenca of the Guayaquil scenes of bodies left on streets and sidewalks. “We are prepared to handle this as the death rate increases,” he said. “We have learned from the misfortune in Guayas and have developed protocols for the removal of bodies if the local funeral industry is overwhelmed. The plan has been reviewed by the provincial COE (Emergency Operations Committee) and is currently in place.” Martínez also said that Cuenca hospitals are well-equipped to treat virus patients. “We expect to be stressed in the coming weeks but we believe we have adequate beds as well as intensive care equipment.”

The crowded scene at Feria Libre on Friday.

President sends fiscal relief bill to the Assembly
President Lenín Moreno announced Friday that he is sending legislation to the National Assembly to defend employees and small businesses in Ecuador. “The workers and entrepreneurs must be protected because they are the backbone of our economy, which faces extreme tests in the months ahead,” he said. He also said he is proposing measures to assure the stability of the U.S. dollar. According to government data, 70 percent of Ecuador’s business activity is paralyzed by stay-at-home restrictions aimed at slowing the advance of the virus. The remaining 30 percent of the country’s businesses are working at reduced capacity, Moreno said.

Too many people are on Cuenca streets, mayor says
Cuenca Mayor Pedro Palacios said he is working with the Azuay Emergency Operations Committee to reduce the number of people on the streets during non-curfew hours. “Although some are doing essential business, like shopping for food, many more or not,” he said Friday following a tour of the Feria Libre market on Av. Las Americas. “I saw people sitting on benches and fishing on river banks and this is not allowed.” He said police and the armed forces will step up patrols to control unauthorized gatherings. “If this does not work, we will consider extending the curfew,” he said.

Friday’s virus numbers
The government announced Friday that the number of Covid-19 cases has increased to 3,368 confirmed infections in Ecuador. The 205 new cases was less than half of Thursday’s new case count of 450. The death count increased to 145. Guayas Province has recorded 2,388 cases, two-thirds of the national total. An estimated 3,700 people are in monitored quarantine with suspected infections. The health ministry said it is also investigating 101 deaths that could be the result of Covid-19.

The case count by province: Guayas, 2,388; Pichincha, 285; Los Ríos, 138; Azuay, 99; Manabi, 67; El Oro, 56; Canar, 56; Santa Elnena, 48; Loja, 27; Bolívar, 26; Chimborazo, 25; Imbabura, 18; Esmeraldas, 14; Cotopaxi and Tungurahua, 13 each; Galapagos, 19; Pastaza and Carchi, 9; Zamora Chinchipe, 2; Napo and Orellana, one case each.

56 thoughts on “Supplies are arriving but more are needed; Cuenca will ‘respect’ the dead; Moreno sends fiscal stimulus bill to Assembly; Updated stats

  1. Key word “SHOULD” be punished. Why not under no uncertain terms ‘WILL’ be severly punished, without delay!!!

  2. I hope the supplies from your Chinese friends are better than what other nations have received.

    1. At least OUR CHINESE Friends had the decency to provide us with humanitarian aid. Can you name one western country that has extended a hand of goodwill? Or like the broken down ventilators that Trump sent to California, or the 300, 000 wrong face masks he sent to Michigan, or the shipment of medical supplies that USAID sent to Thailand, only to ask for it back, and then sent another shipload of supplies back to Thailand! Yes, we in Ecuador are very grateful for help, no matter the race, color or ethnic background!

        1. You mean the Fort Detrick Virus? What does that have to do with Chinese humanitarian aid to Ecuador and other countries around the world?

          1. It’s the CCP Virus, they own it. As for faulty and defective PPE. they aren’t going to send anything that’s good out of China, it’s mandated to stay in that country. Always remember that when China gives with the right hand it takes with the left… they give nothing… this is a country that is harvesting organs from people they consider hostile to their regime… the average Chinese doesn’t know anything other than what the government tells them. We are able to say things like this because we live here. Don’t be fooled by there propaganda… “Chinese humanitarian aid” is an oxymoron.

            1. Read this and tell me again that CODVID-19 is a CCP virus. You say the average Chinese doesn’t know anything other than what the government tells them. I would argue that it’s worse for the average American who simply repeats whatever the MSM state stenographers feed them. Your comment is a perfect example of such.

              You’ll have to dig deeper than parroting whatever Sean Hannity tells you if you want to find the truth.

              https://www.nature.com/articles/nm.3985

              1. LOL, your very funny, I’m neither a fan of fox nor am I a US citizen. I have traveled the world and have worked everywhere. My wife is Chinese and her family still lives there. I have to be careful of what I say as to not get her family in trouble there. I have been in the wet markets with that family being shouted at by the CCP station chiefs.. telling me that’s not for me and I should leave. I’ve been inside the gleaming towers that are all show for the western tourists to see, those buildings are dull concrete and stainless steel inside, smoke and mirrors) Most people that go there are shuffled through the tourist traps. It’s only when you go beyond the facade, travel with the locals, work with the slaves that live, eat and die in the dormitories, and hear the propaganda first hand, that you really know what’s happening there. And you sir, do not know what’s happening there. Or here for that matter… that regime will spread their propaganda far and wide, whatever the cost, even at the expense of their own people to maintain power…

                1. Nice anecdote but doesn’t address any of the issues at hand. So IOW you didn’t bother to read the article.

                  It doesn’t matter where you’re from Mike, unless you really dig for it the news you get out of the US about what’s going on there is very far removed from the truth. FWIW, I don’t question that the Chinese government is repressive; it’s just that I don’t have much higher regard for the governmental lies, corruption and evil that emanates from Washington DC either.

                  And if you believe that the US isn’t capable of dirty tricks, false flags and subterfuge on par or worse than the CCP then you’ve got blinders on.

            1. As I replied elsewhere, I’m not questioning the repressiveness of the Chinese government. But I am equally distrustful and far more disgusted with the lies, corruption, subterfuge, wanton mass murders of millions of innocent civilians, bullying, coercion, thievery, immorality, inhumanity and just general evil (and that’s far too kind a word) for the acts of my own government.

              It is my fervent hope that this corona virus chaos breeds a huge welling up of general discontent and disgust with TPTB worldwide and that people everywhere rise up to protest and to end this insanity. And yes, I know I’m a dreamer but if anything ever put the acts of the bastards who rule people all over the worldin high relief this has got to be it.

      1. For years EC Socialists and expat malcontents have been pitching anti-American criticism about everythying. Along comes Covid-19 and they’re crying about the US not having the decency to provide humanitarian aid. Really? Where’s Cuba and Venezuela?
        Call Xi Pingpong maybe he’ll let you run a tab.

          1. Don’t count on Maduro for much, He’s too busy with international drug trafficking to be bothered with humanitarian matters.

    2. I don’t trust China worth a damn but at least they’re sending us something. We sure aren’t getting anything from the U.S. They’ve got a friggin disaster on their hands and we aint seen nothing yet.

      1. So why would it be incumbent on the U.S. to send anything anywhere, so long as the items are badly needed in the 50 states and territories? I don’t get it…. the President made it very clear: “America First”… and expats chose to leave on their own free will. When the U.S. does find itself in a surplus situation, I doubt if Ecuador will be very high on the list……. but anything that the country is a beneficiary of “won’t be enough”.

      1. Free trade zones allow different countries within int to specialize in different things they all need. It allows companies like 3M to benefit from a larger market and enjoy economies of scale. However, the American companies are being ordered by the US government to cancel or divert pre-paid shipments to other countries, including the closest of US allies, and send them to America only. Trump cancelled the shipment of professional masks to Canada’s medical personnel and stopped shipments to Latin/South America as well. He is also diverting Hong Kong shipments en route to Germany and Canada to the US. The disorganized US states are bidding against each other..raising prices anything needed along with future production to unheard of heights. Despite the worst virus figures in the world by FAR, it might be a good idea to go to America.

        1. “America First”, what else can be said? The DPA authorizes the President to steer the domestic production of much needed items “internally”… to the U.S. and its territories. What multinationals produce abroad is another matter…. and can be distributed at will. President Trump is not only doing his job, but is using legislation and authorizations to do so.

          “The disorganized US states are bidding against each other..raising prices anything needed along with future production to unheard of heights”….. give us a specific example, or two…..because what you are describing is illegal. It is called “Price Gouging”

          1. While I agree that the USA needs to look at the mess that’s been created there. I disagree that it should all be turned inward. The North American free trade agreement has turned the region into an interconnected manufacturing machine. It’s very difficult to make a product that doesn’t have some components coming from one of the other areas. Just because the N95 mask is finished on a press in the continental US the components that make it are more than likely sourced from one of the other two.. if they decided that they needed to manufacture at home for home and started withholding materials so they could concentrate on Canada first or Mexico first then it defeats the purpose… we are much better off working through the channels that are currently available than re inventing the wheel.

            1. I have no idea what point you are trying to make. The DPA, as far as I know, makes no reference to parts / components sourced elsewhere. As a matter of fact, I would contend that it would be near impossible to make some of the more technical equipment (ventilators for example) without foreign sourced components. That, characterized by having to source cross border, is one of the problems of forcing our manufacturing overseas (NAFTA). What isn’t a problem is Trump’s invoking the DPA, which the Left-Prone news sources have characterized as “acts of Piracy”, which they are not, since the President has full authority to do so.

              1. Uh, the “acts of piracy” were related to goods being shipped from out side the US to Germany, France, and Massachusetts.

                And no, the DPA does NOT give him any such authority with entities outside the US. Your Stable Genius is not the ruler of the entire world even though he, Jared and Mikey may have grand delusions of such.

  3. A Favorite Corporation employee (Supermaxi, Aki) has tested positive but no location given yet according to La Voz del Tomebamba.

    1. A news article this A.M. in the States: French officials asked for emergency shipments of masks from China…. China said they would grant the request, if France would agree to roll out their 5G network using Huawei equipment

      1. Sounds like lend-lease in 1941. US allies were down and out and were taken advantage of. Goes onto today as in “we will vote for your IMF loan if you give us military facilities in the Galapagos and buy more obsolete US military equipment at top dollar to fight a drug war you don’t have”.

        1. Anyone who believes that there is no drug war in and around Ecuador is either
          a. a drug lord
          b. got their head in the sand
          c. dont want to believe their is a problem.
          d. or Are somehow getting some income from the drugs.

          Columbia (next door) has the biggest drug production in the WORLD. Then add the dug lords that are leaders of countries like neighbouring Venezuela and previous president of neighbouring Bolivia.

          1. Drugs aren’t a problem, look at Amsterdam, they have everything under control and don’t spend a cent on this war that won’t be won with weapons and boarder checks. All we are doing is putting our children, brothers and sisters in prison.. the danish spend all the tax dollars they collect from legal sales of drugs into education and rehabilitation of their citizens that need the help… if someone wants drugs they are going to seek it out..and they will find it.

            1. Last I checked, Amsterdam was in the Netherlands (Holland), but that little factoid aside… In Denmark, marijuana is considered a “soft drug” similar to Washington State, Oregon, Colorado, California, etc…. etc…. In Denmark, penalties for possessing it (which is more strict than several U.S. states), aren’t nearly as strict as they are for carrying a substance like cocaine. Where so you get your mis-information?

        2. Wrong on so many points….. The Lend-Lease program came about because the U.S. was prohibited from supporting the war effort (1930’s Act of Neutrality), until the Lend Lease Act was passed …it was Roosevelt’s way of getting around the prohibitions until he could get Congress behind him and the war (which opens the discussion about the “surprise” attack at Pearl Harbor). Canada also had a similar program called “Mutual Aid”.

          You also insinuate that the IMF is somehow in league with the U.S….. which couldn’t be further from the truth. Although the IMF heavily relies on the U.S. contributions for 17% of its income (which includes monies it turns around and “lends” or gives away). Contributing countries do not have “votes” on IMF loans.

          I could go on, because you are so off base and incorrect on so many issues.

  4. The death count increased to 145? Same number that the Johns Hopkins Corona website is reporting. Reports out of Guayaquil are that the authorities are collecting 150 bodies a day. And that doesn’t count the victims that are being handled through funeral homes. It makes me wonder about the accuracy of all of the reports of deaths in other countries.

    1. remember that on average 6000 people die each month in ecuador. people die here of natural causes and lots of other things. there were deaths before this thing occurred from lots of things and that will continue to happen —-nothing to do with the virus even if they happen to find it post humously.

      1. You die if you do and you die if you don’t. My goal is to be one of those 6000 that do it in Ecuador.

  5. What’s new? Customs “officials” are very corrupt and have been stealing things for years, since at least 1976 when I first arrived in Ecuador. They are deplorable, despicable human beings.

    I could cite example after example of their thievery. One time they actually demanded $100 from a friend of mine who was trying to “receive” several boxes of Girl Scout cookies that his mother had sent him.

    Ecuadorian officials are among the most corrupt in all of Latin America. Always have been and always will be.

    1. I worked here 22 years ago and it was amazing. Not sure it is better but only much more subvert. It was wide open back then. As a general rule there are two kind of customs officials, those that are corrupt and those that will become corrupt.

  6. For some reason my comment about China didn’t make it through. Maybe because I have first hand experience with these folks at a very interesting time in history. Enjoy your negative comments while you can because when they are in charge it won’t be happening.

    1. I too have a ton of experience in China and with the colourful way they do business, I agree if they have there way we’ll all be “re-educated, happy communist workers, listening to the global times bull and swallowing every bite they shove down our throats.. enjoy!

      1. A big part of my job was to train mainland Chinese in Hong Kong on our automation systems. It was Star Wars to them. I became close friends with a bunch of the guys. They were absolutely great. They had never been out of China and they began to pick up on things like the reality of Tiananmen square. They asked me about it and I told them to go to the library in Tuen Muen and read the world papers at the time. Their Chinese handlers had a fit and said they couldn’t go. They were in China so I don’t know how they got wind of it. The Hong Kong government told them to go to hell (This was about a year before the hand over). Anyway a group of about 5 of them went to the library and read a bunch of archived articles. The next training session(I trained with them 12 hours a day 7 days a week) they shared what they had learned and the main thing I remember is they were literally scared to death to have this knowledge.

  7. Truly grateful to be living in Cuenca at this time. Special “Thank You” to all our straight talking government, “Vive los medicos”, deep appreciation to all health care workers, their big, kind hearts, and the many more people working long hours all around us every day trying to keep us all safe and protected from one another.
    We always wave to the police, military and garbage men doing what they do. Very proud of everyone who’s about solutions.
    Thank you CHL for serving our community so well all these years. A special shout out to Jeannie, we love your humor and the work you’re doing, serving us, please continue, we need you!
    We are all going to get through this challenging time and we’re going to do it together, one-day-at-a-time doing the next right thing!

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