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Thousands get work leave for Covid symptoms after automatic system introduced

New protocol allows people to get 5-day absence by filling out a form online with aim of reducing paperwork in care centers

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07 July 2022 10:18 AM

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ACN | Barcelona

The 7th wave of the Covid-19 pandemic is here, and thousands of people have already used the Catalan health department’s new system of requesting an automatic 5-day leave of absence from work for symptoms of the coronavirus. 

Since Tuesday, people in Catalonia have been able to log onto the health system’s online platform and request the document justifying their absence from work without having to see a doctor in person.

Some 2,260 people have applied for automatic leave as of Thursday morning, according to the minister of health, Josep Maria Argimon.

Speaking on TV3, he explained that on a normal day, between 16,000 and 18,000 casualties are processed through the health system for all types of ailments. 

Argimon said he can understand the fears expressed by employers but says that the new system is "normal within a relationship of trust." In fact, he has not ruled out establishing a similar system for other ailments such as chronic diseases, citing endometriosis as an example, that see people regularly need time off work. 

At the moment, the system for getting a sick leave from work automatically is temporary, and is expected to be in place for July and August only, and a person can only use it once. 

Peak of the 7th wave

Regarding the seventh wave of the pandemic, the health minister has assured that the peak is being reached soon, and he foresees that the number of new infections will start to go down from the third week of July.

This follows the parameter observed in Portugal, which suffered the wave before, and which, on reaching the peak, remained in the stabilization phase for around two weeks.

Argimon said that very little is known about the new subvariant found in India, but stressed the importance of vulnerable people receiving their fourth vaccine dose.

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  • Catalan health minister Josep Maria Argimon (by Albert Segura)

  • Catalan health minister Josep Maria Argimon (by Albert Segura)

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