Banco Santander Brasil is the latest Brazilian lender to send more workers home to work amid an increase in Covid-19 infections and hospitalizations, Reuters reported.

Banco Santander Brasil had almost 65 percent of its staff working at offices less than a month earlier and now plans to cut that to about 30 percent, the news site said in a report on March 26, citing Ivone Silva, head of the bank workers’ union in the Sao Paulo region.

“There are no hospital beds left, so banks are sending workers back home,” Silva said.

Banco BTG Pactual, another Brazilian bank, had planned to bring 35 percent of its workers back to its headquarters in recent weeks and has cut that level to 10 percent because of the worsening outbreak, Reuters reported, citing Mateus Carneiro, the company’s head of human resources.

About 450,000 people in Brazil work in financial institutions, making banks one of the country’s largest employers, according to the Reuters report.

Other Brazilian banks, such as Banco Bradesco SA and Itaú Unibanco Holding SA, have kept almost all (94 to 97 percent) of employees working remotely during the pandemic, Reuters said.

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