SUR

Sick leave because of Covid soars by 1,000 per cent in the Andalusian region

Described as "a tsunami of sick leave", almost 64,000 workers are isolating at home after testing positive for the coronavirus

J.L.P.

The sixth wave of Covid-19 caused by the Omicron variant resulted in almost 64,000 workers in Andalucía being absent from their jobs in December 2021, the Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (AMAT) said on 6 January. The number represents a 1,023 per cent increase in absenteeism compared to the same period last year.

AMAT described the situation as "a true tsunami of sick leave" due to "the explosion of infections".

In December 2021, more than half a million Spaniards took sick leave, an increase of 632 per cent at the national level compared to November. AMAT said the numbers are comparable to “the worst moments of the March 2020 health crisis.”

AMAT warned of the impact on the health sector which is seeing “a collapse of primary care centres, where doctors, despite efforts to reorganise available resources, are overwhelmed by the provision of health care and sick notes.”

The bottleneck is not only impacting workers and companies but is costing the state and the accounts of the social security agency as well, AMAT added.