Weekend lockdowns are over; More rain is forecast; Lasso explains broken Correa deal; Hospitalizations drop; Colombia reopens border with Ecuador

May 21, 2021 | 2 comments

Jueves, 20/5/2021

Hola, Todos –
I will be taking a week off starting on Monday, and will be back el lunes, 31/5/2021.

Actividades –

Del cuerpo del periodico –

Se cumple la semana de la movilidad (Mobility week is over) – The Empresa de Movilidad (EMOV EP) of the City of Cuenca is finishing a series of meetings as part of the Sexta Semana Mundial de la Seguridad Vial (Sixth World Road Safety Week) which ends el domingo. The motto for this year is Calles para la vida (Streets for life) <As in opposition to roadkill? >, mainly for urban streets with the goal of creating safe, healthy, green and habitable cities. Activities for the weekend include an intermodal challenge mañana a las 8:30 outside Cuenca City Hall. It will compare the speeds for different modes of transport to analyze the conveniences of each <Gumball Rally time!>. There will be the Ruta Ecoturística in San Joaquín a las 9:00 el sábado, and a Bici Escuela, in the central plaza of San Joaquín, a las 9:00 el domingo.

Otras cosas –

Those over 80 and those physically or mentally disabled can get vaccines without appointments. (El Mercurio)

Titular – G. Lasso y A. Borrero listos para gobernar (G. Lasso and A. Borrero ready to govern) – Ayer, Lasso and Borrero received their credentials from the CNE that will credit them for taking office el próximo lunes, 24/5. In his speech, Lasso referred to his boyhood dreams of being president coming true. He also spoke of the agreement with the correístas (followers of Correa) and the Partido Social Cristiano which had the objective of governability <I think that’s when the president has enough votes in the Asamblea to pass his proposals.> but also called for impunity for acts of corruption during the previous Government. He countered Correa’s and Nebot’s accusations of breaking his word by saying that giving in to the temptation for governability produced exactly the opposite.

Continuing with the agreement would generate more distrust in politicians, and by extension, in the whole system which would destroy the governability that was sought. He recognized that 47% of Ecuadorians did not vote for his political projects and stressed that those voters deserved his taking into account their aspirations for an equitable country. But he pointed out that it’s certain that they did not vote for impunity, nor corruption, nor for interference in judicial decisions. His action would also guarantee respect from the 53% who voted for him, in many cases as an anti-Correa vote.

Pronostican que lluvias seguirán el fin de semana (Rains predicted to continue through weekend) – INAMHE is predicting rain in the interandino alley at least thru the weekend. Weather for the next 48 hours will be cloudy with occasional increases in cloudiness and chubascos (cloudbursts) in the north of the region. Environmental engineer Román Salgado, said mayo is considered the transition month and hopes that the rain will gradually diminish. Historically, junio is the start of the dry season <And the start of the stories about wild fires.>. According to Salgado, the rains that caused flooding in Cuenca were at historic levels with 20 liters falling on each square meter.

8 of the 15 councilmembers have asked Mayor Palacios to declare a city emergency. This will allow freeing funds and expediting contracting to address the problems. At fire station #8, 3 pools of water have been installed to provide water, especially to people served by the Tarqui-Victoria del Portate community water system which was flooded. <If things dry up fast enough, those pools could become new community swimming pools – the Fire station #8 WaterPark.>

Estado de exceptión lleaga a su fin (State of emergency comes to an end) – The curfew and lockdown applied until 23:59 Thursday, when the state of emergency ends. The cantonal COE, which does not have a meeting scheduled, will be in charge of any new measures. Starting tomorrow, the only restrictions that will be in effect will be a vehicular curfew between 23:00 to 5:00 with fines from $100 to $400 for violating the curfew.
Discos and centros de tolerancia still cannot open, and restaurants that serve alcohol accompanied by food must close at midnight. Liquor sales in stores ends at 20:00. Espectáculos públicos masivos (Massive public performances) and crowds are still prohibited <And I´m guessing escandalos en la vía pública are as well.>. Event centers can operate at 40% capacity in closed spaces, and at 50% in open areas. Community centers, churches, theaters, and movie houses can operate at 30% capacity. There will be no confinement this weekend, but authorities are asking people to observe biosecurity measures.

Julio Molina, the Zone 6 coordinator, informed that while it’s good that new Coronavirus hospitalizations have dropped, the ICU beds in the public hospitals remain full while ICU beds at private hospitals treating critical Covid cases are 75% full.

Vacunas llegan a los profesores de las universidades (Vaccines reach university professors) – University professors will start receiving vaccinations este domingo according to the schedule. Vaccinations of seniors who are retirees and pensioners of the IESS are taking place at the Centro de Atención del Adulto Mayor. Anyone over 80; people who are over 50% disabled, either physically or mentally <Is that the formal way to say that someone is half nuts?>; and patients with catastrophic diseases can be vaccinated at the colegio Manuela Garaicoa without an appointment. Unions and pharmacy workers are asking to be included in the vaccination schedule.

Evite estar cerca a las orillas del ríos (Avoid being close to the river banks) – Rescue organizations are calling for citizens to avoid exposing themselves to unnecessary risks on the river banks. <For teenagers that would include “snogging” without rubbers.> Avoid fishing, doing laundry or other activities that put your life at risk. In various spots, the current has undermined the banks which can give way suddenly or under the weight of a person. <Any person, not just the stereotypical 400 pound gringo.> Other areas are muddy which makes the terrain resbaladizo (slippery – your word for the day) making it easy to slide into the river. El pasado lunes, a 14 year old was apparently washing clothes in the Tomebamba in the Puertas del Sol sector, was dragged into the river, disappeared, and has not been found after a search as far as the río Cuenca.

Hombre se lanzó al río en Tarqui (Man launched himself into the river in Tarqui) – This week, a man climbed the railing on a bridge and jumped into the river in Tarqui. The act was posted on social networks. The man swam to the side and got out of the water. A firefighter called out for people to not expose themselves to such risks, and other citizens said this type of recklessness and irresponsibility should be subject to sanctions.

Policía es sentenciado a tres años por fallido envío de 185 tortugas (Policeman sentenced to 3 years for failed shipment of 185 turtles) – A cop was sentenced to 3 years for a crime against wild flora and fauna after 185 turtles between 2 and 12 months old were found in a suitcase. The Chelonoidis turtles are a threatened and protected wildlife species. Part of the sentence wsa a payment of $639,100 as compensation to the surviving turtles, and $10,000 in reparations to the population of turtles.

Vacuna contra COVID-19 se aplican en los cantones (Vaccine against COVID-19 applied in the cantons) – The MSP is estimating that between hoy y mañana new doses of vaccines will be given in cantons such as Gualaceo, Girón, and San Fernando. The process started a las 8:00 today in Gualaceo and will continue manaña a las 8:00 in Girón and San Fernando.

Colombia reabre sus fronteras con vecinos (Colombia reopens its borders with neighbors) – At midnight on miércoles, Colombia opened its land, maritime, and river borders with Panamá, Ecuador, Perú, y Brasil which were closed 14 months ago to impede the spread of Covid. <That still doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to take a road trip into Colombia since there are other issues at the Ecuadorian-Colombian border.> The Venezuelan border remains closed.

Asamblea retorna al trabajo presencial (Assembly returns to face-to-face work) – After 14 months, the Asamblea will return to face to face activities after authorization from the National COE. This will apply to all sessions, committee meetings and administrative work. Juan Zapata, president of the National COE pointed out that anyone working in or entering the Asamblea would have to use biosecurity measures including masking (preferably double masking), social distances, disinfecting, and testing workers and visitors for Covid. <I wonder if anyone is going to forget that they’re not on Zoom anymore, and show up in chambers in their pajama bottoms – the ones with the hole in the bottom from too many Zoom meetings.>

Premio Travellers’ Choice 2021 (Travelers’ Choice Award 2021) – For the 7th consecutive year, the Hotel Boutique Santa Lucía in the heart of Cuenca, received the Travelers’ Choice Award 2021 from Tripadvisor. It is one of the 10 most popular hotels in the world.

And that´s all for today so Hasta ? –