The Executive Branch in Argentina passed a resolution that public and private sector workers who are in quarantine, either voluntarily or by recommendation, shall continue to receive their wages as usual, as well as that included in their collective agreement. The recommendation was presented by the Nation’s Ministry of Health, together with FATSA’s request to the Ministry of Labour stating that health workers requiring isolation or quarantine should not be affected in this regard.

Héctor Daer, President of UNI Americas, said: “We are deeply concerned about the situation of hundreds of thousands of workers in our continent who will not have paid leave if they have to go into quarantine due to the expansion of CoOVID19. Many of them will not even have paid sick days. The Argentine government reacted very positively to our requests. It is essential to ensure workers that they will receive their wages, because today the fear of loss of income can seriously aggravate the crisis.”

The Government also created a1.7 billion special fund for test kits, reagents and diagnosis of viral respiratory infections in hospitals across the country.

Other health unions in the Americas are demanding that preventive health measures be taken. In Peru, the  Federation Centre Union of Social Security Health Workers (FED-CUT – ESSALUD) is demanding bio security for workers who treat patients with suspected COVID19. The union demands infrastructure, equipment in hospitals, and rejects all kinds of improvisation when dealing with possibly infected patients.

Today, the President of the World Health Organization, Dr. Tedros Adhanom, has declared the Coronavirus outbreak a pandemic after alarming levels of spread were reached, and cases reported outside China soared in recent days, rising 13-fold in the past two weeks. Despite the speed and spread of the virus, many employers in the service sector continue forcing workers to report to work to avoid paying sick leave.