Vaccines are driving down Covid infections, deaths; Public hospital meds resupplied; Push to reopen rural schools; Landslides close Guayaquil highway
Hola, Todos –
Titular – Primera marcha contra el régimen (First march against the regime) – See Thursday’s article in CHL.
“Se empieza a sentir el efecto de las vacunas” (The effect of vaccines is beginning to be felt) – Hospitals are starting to see the effect of the vaccines in lower occupancy of ICU beds and a shorter waiting lists. Fernando Ortega, an intensive care doctor at the IESS hospital, said that in the past week, the number of seriously ill patients and those on the waiting lists has diminished considerably. He said that nationally, 80% of ICU beds are occupied, mostly with people who have not received their first dose or completed their vaccines. He said that the vaccinations have given ICU professionals some breathing room, but that people should continue to wear masks and practice social distancing and handwashing. According to data from Vacunómetro, 3,794,540 people have been fully vaccinated in Ecuador, and 6,146,555 have been partially vaccinated.
Curva de mortalidad ha bajado de forma considerable: MSP (Mortality curve has dropped considerably: MSP) – Ximena Garzón, ministra de Salud, said that there has been a considerable drop in the registry of mortality associated with Covid and the curve has become a vertical drop which indicates the effects of the vaccine. She hopes that in the coming weeks a drop in deaths and hospitalizations will follow. She added that the goal is to vaccinate 85% of the population to reach inmunidad de rebaño (herd immunity – your phrase for the day) by the end of the year. Vaccinations for children between 12 & 15 will start in septiembre. The Ministerio de Salud (MSP) will analyze the effectiveness of vaccines in other pediatric populations. The US is innoculating children as young as 7 years with Pfizer, and in China, Sinovac is being given to babies older than 4 months. She reported that the Spanish government is sending 101,760 doses of AstraZeneca este viernes. The day after, 2,000,000 doses of Sinovac will arrive with another 2 million coming next week. The one dose CanSino will be used on people from 18 to 60 in the most remote locations with the help of the Armed Forces.
Mercado Diez de Agosto, primer centro galería (Diez de Agosto Market, first gallery center) – 8 murals spray painted graffiti style, were presented este martes, making it the first mercado gallery in the city. <Does that imply to you, too, that there will be more municipally sponsored graffiti art coming to the rest of the mercados?> The murals were part of the 67th anniversary of the mercado 10 de Agosto. The paintings’ themes are activities in the market such as sales, ancestral cleansings and more.
Terminó montaje de puente (Bridge assembly completed) – Close to midnight ayer, MTOP finished placing the structure for the pedestrian bridge over the vía Cuenca-Azogues in Nulti which had to be replaced after it collapsed when it was hit by a container truck. In the past few days, the welds were tested. Neighbors are are waiting (or hoping or expecting) for the city to rebuild a bridge over río Cuenca in Capulispamba which was destroyed by the floods last mayo.
En la Victoria del Portete solicitan reabrir planteles (Reopening of schools In La Victoria del Portete requested) – Parents in communities in Victoria del Portete are asking that the rural schools that served them before the Escuela del Milenio was built be reopened. One grandmother in San Agustín de Victoria del Portete will not be sending her granddaughter to Inicial (kindergarden?) – not due to Covid, but because of the distance. The school in San Agustín, along with 12 others in the rural parish, was closed when the Escuela del Milenio was opened. Instead of a few steps to school, her granddaughter must now travel 5 km. which means getting up at 5 am and catching a school bus or a mixto. Many families do not have private cars or the $5 for the mixto fare. In the community of Gualay, the situation is complicated by the number of children who live in it. The president of Gualay conducted a census and counted 500 people of which half are children. She said the little ones have to get up at 5 am and don’t get home until 2 or 3 pm. because of the length of the walk. The COE and Ministerio de Educación are looking at opening rural schools since there haven’t been many Covid infections and the families lack internet connectivity and equipment for on-line classes. Authorities feel it is prudent to allow these schools to open so that the children can study. María Brown, the current ministra de Educación is continuing with a plan to open 900 community schools during the first 4 years fo Lasso’s term. Unfortunately, since they have been closed so long, some of the schools have deteriorated and are not usable.
Deslaves afectan la carretera a Molleturo (Landslides affect the road to Molleturo) – Ayer, two large slides affected traffic at km. 49 on the vía Cuenca-Molleturo-El Empalme. The first slide was at 10:30 and the second at midday. Buses and vehicles were stranded on the road, waiting for MTOP to clear the material. A backhoe and Bobcat were sent. <I guess Pachamama isn’t through with landslides yet so we’re getting the worst of both seasons.> The highway reopened late Thursday but closed again early Friday due to another slide.
UDS 43 millones para priorizar la atención en hospitales públicos ($43 million to prioritize care in public hospitals) – The Government will allocate $43 million to solve a 60 day emergency declaration focused on the health sector. The money will allow for purchasing medicines and other supplies for 135 centers in the network of public health providers. 123 medications for oncological <Oh, be blunt and just say cancer.> and other catastrophic illnesses. The resupplying will start el 24/8 and go to the 136 first, 2nd and 3d level hospitals. It was verified that hospital supplies were barely at 50%. The purchases will be made through Sercop in a centralized format and then distributed to the health institutions. To guarantee transparency, other agencies such as the Defensoría del Pueblo, Contraloría, Servicio Nacional de Contratación Pública (Sercop), Superintendencia de Control, Comisión Anticorrupción and academia will be invited to observe the process.
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.