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Cuenca News

Water usage is excessive, Waiting for Covid-19 test kits, Guaranteeing food supply, 600 stranded on Galapagos, More food baskets needed

Martes, 24/3/2020

Hola, Todos –

Actividades –
De la pagina cultural –

Photo exhibit – The “Photo Crew” Collective in Cuenca is preparing a compilation of photos taken during the Paro Nacional (National Strike) which can be downloaded for free. The project will include photos taken by amateurs and professionals during the strike from all over the country. 61 photographers submitted around 300 fotos of which 59 were selected. There was also text content. This “Memoria Histórica” exhibit is available at www.photocrew.ec.com. Also on their website, which includes contributions from people from other countries including the US who are numerous in Cuenca, is a fotoblog for people to show their work.

Alianza Francesa – The Alianza Francesa is offering free options on line for people to enjoy French culture such as visiting museums, enjoy family activities, listen to music, learn French, and read books, including free access to the “Glénat” publishing house. For more information, you can internally write to administrators <I have no idea what that means – is it a tech term?> at their web page.

Otras cosas –

Transis police are conducting more street checks of drivers.

Titular – Consumo de agua debe ser limitado (Water consumption should be limited) – ETAPA is again making an urgent call for people to conserve water. It has found that the average per person consumption per day is 226 liters during this emergency. This exceeds the normal consumption of 189 liters/person/day and the WHO and UN standards of 100 liters. Similar problems are being experienced by the Systemas Comunitarios de Agua in various rural parishes in Cuenca. Recommmendations include taking shorter showers and not exceeding 5 minutes. Showering instead of bathing, and not using hoses to water gardens. Use baldes or regaderas (buckets or watering cans instead – your words for the day), and water in the mornings or evenings to decrease evaporation. Don’t use potable water to wash your car. <I’m good there – I wait for rain. And the last time I took the car to the car wash, the lady said “Hace mucho tiempo” (It’s been a long time.) Like at least 6 months – poor car.> The Proyecto Nero district, one the largest in Cuenca with 7,400 ratepayers and serving over 30,000 may need to ration water to between the hours of 6-15:00. The excessive consumption is not allowing the reservoirs to recharge enough to meet a 24 hour demand.

Waiting for test kits – Local facilities are waiting for 1,500 additional tests and are hoping they will arrive this week. The medical director of Santa Inés said that there are bureaucratic hurdles to overcome and while the virus runs, bureaucracy walks slowly. The Health Minister said that they are waiting for 200,000 rapid result tests with a 81% reliability rate that cost $10-15. They are coming from outside the country, and will be sent to Guayas and Pichincha which have the most cases.

Highway Controls – Personnel from the Comisión de Tránsito del Ecuador (CTE) and EMOV are controlling vehicles entering Cuenca. Agents are checking drivers for fever and fumigating the vehicles. The governor of Azuay said closing roads is not an option when traffic between provinces is necessary to transport food, essential products, medicines and fuel.

Bono de contingencia – MIES is working on the database for giving out a a temporary $60 bonus to those in need. People don’t need to go to or call the MIES office, but should go to the web page consultasenlinea.inclusion.gob.ec.

Guaranteeing food – An interinstitutional cadera (hip – did they mean cadena – chain?) has been activated in the South of Ecuador to confront the health, social and economic emergency. In Zamora Chinchipe, it is working on avoiding spreading Covid-19 and guaranteeing food. Instead of prohibiting the entry and exit of people, they are fumigating vehicles going in and out. Because of a shortage of products in different locations including Nangaritza the past weekend, due to a low turnout of vendors, they are asking mayors for a plan that will guarantee the flow of groceries. The VIALZACHIN company, part of the Prefectura , is establishing an alternate plan to transport products if necessary.

In Azuay, last sábado, milk producers in San Fernando decided to prohibit the shipping of milk products to different provinces. It was done because employees of one of the largest members expressed fear in going to la Costa (Coast). Complaints were made to the Ministerio de Agricultura y Ganadería (MAG – Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock) and the prohibition will not happen.

Agrokawsay – The high demand for the canastas populares exceeded its ability to fulfill all the orders. The prefect, Yaku Pérez, apologized and said they were now prioritizing delivery on current orders. Between last miércoles and this lunes, 2,000 baskets were sold. You can start ordering again este miércoles. Last domingo, the Prefectura was working in the parque San Blas with the Policía Nacional to distribute canastas solidarias to people doing informal work who haven’t been able to work during the emergency and can’t afford food. They gave out 5,000 baskets and the 50,000 they still have will be distributed according to need. After consulting with the Parish and Municipal governments and community and parish organizations, they will give out another 30,000 this week and there rest later. <Another reason I’m happy to be in Ecuador.>

Humanitarian flights – LATAM will fly to the Galapagos to evacuate foreign visitors to Quito and Guayaquil where they can make connections to their home countries. There are some 600 tourist stranded there. In the same press release, LATAM said it would continue flying cargo to the Islas to provide food, equipment,and basic necessities.

Credit changes – The Superintendencia de Economía Popular y Solidaria (SEPS) informed financial institutions they can modify contracts for credit either on their own initiative or by customer request. The customer (debtor) can postpone at least 2 payments, re-amortize the loan, and extend the length of the loan by at least the number of postponed payments. The deferred payments will not generate default interest, expenses, surcharges, or fines. <But you better talk to your bank directly, because a lot of these terms are straight out of Google Translate and you know how reliable that is.>

Police page –

A suspect was arrested for a murder committed last 21/3 around 21:00 on Huayna Cápac y Gran Colombia. Both the perpetrator and victim, who was stabbed, are Venezuelan. The crime was similar to one in which another victim was stabbed and killed el 12/3 in the doorway to the casa del Rollo. This brings the number of violent deaths in Cuenca to 9 for the year.

Improper handling of bread – A baker in Guayas was arrested after a video went viral that showed him “tocarse sus orificios nasales” (touch his nostrils) <I bet he was picking his nose.> and then going back to handling the bread. He was charged with improper food handling which could get him a 3-5 year sentence. <Buen provecho!>

And that’s all for today so Hasta ? –

Jeanne
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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.