The Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS) launched the “COVID 4.0” permit to allow its affiliates with SARS-CoV-2 to stay home. This measure aims to reduce contagion during the fifth wave of COVID-19. The permit will legally allow workers to be absent for five days and receive 60 percent of their wages during the fourth and fifth day of absence.
“Workers are given proof of temporary disability, similarly to what is provided to the worker when he goes to the doctor and the same doctor prescribes a temporary disability. This is an innovation by the institute that aims to make it easier for workers to protect themselves at home and consequently lower the chains of contagion,” said Mauricio Hernández, Director of Economic and Social Benefits, IMSS.
Workers do not need a COVID-19 positive test to request this permit; they only have to fill a format that is available in the official IMSS website. “The COVID 4.0 permit is a service provided by the institute for affiliated workers. Its purpose is to help them quickly process their permit without having to go to the doctor, without having to take a test and receive directly electronically the notification of the general sickness benefit that corresponds to them,” said Hernández.
IMSS forecasts that the highest peak of the current wave will take place during the week of July 17. The week starting on July 3 marks the 11th consecutive week in which positive cases increased. Last week, there were over 17,000 positive cases reported each day. Despite the increase of cases, as of July 6, available hospital beds remain at 88 percent and available hospital beds with a ventilator remain at 97 percent, reports the Ministry of Health.
“Vaccination helps keep hospital occupancy at a minimum: 10 percent of general beds and 3 percent of beds with ventilators [are occupied],” said Deputy Minister of Health Hugo López-Gatell. For this reason, sanitary authorities are urging people to get vaccinated and are emphasizing the need to vaccinate children of age, who have been able to access the vaccines since the last week of June.
Cases are rising because not every subvariant of Omicron had arrived in the country, as reported by MBN. The BA12-1 and BA4BA5 are affecting at a larger level those who have not been vaccinated. “The disease can affect everyone, those who engage in a lot of mobility and that are among large crowds of people without wearing a face mask are at higher risk,” said Alejandro Macias, Member of the University Commission for the Attention of the Coronavirus Emergency, UNAM.