Safe sex in these risky times
MANILA, Philippines — What’s sex like in the time of coronavirus?
Well, it better be safe sex, the Commission on Population and Development (Popcom) said, amid the “enhanced community quarantine’’ imposed on Luzon as part of government efforts to contain the spread of the new coronavirus.
“We do not want to add on to the current situation with another possible crisis caused by unplanned pregnancies, as these could place (another burden on) our already strained medical institutions,” Popcom Executive Director Juan Antonio Perez III said on Wednesday.
A spike in unplanned pregnancies is usually noted during times of natural calamities, as most couples find intimacy to be the most accessible source of comfort, he said.
Possible baby boom
With people forced to stay home under the monthlong lockdown, Perez warned of a possible baby boom in December or January since reproductive health services during this health crisis might not be accessible to all.
“We call on couples and individuals to keep in mind family planning as they try to maintain their overall health and well-being inside their respective homes during these trying times,” he added.
A recent National Demographic Health Survey quoted 73 percent of married women as saying they had sex within the last four weeks.
But the country’s modern contraceptive use stood at only 40 percent, according to Popcom.
Condom among supplies
To ensure that the public would still have access to family planning services, Perez said local officials initially in Metro Manila would be asked to tap barangay volunteers to deliver supplies to “continuing users” of condoms and pills that would last for three months.
In Taguig, Mayor Lino Cayetano said doctors and barangay health workers would go around the city to provide health services and supplies to residents, including contraceptives like condoms and pills.
Because of the lockdown, the services and supplies will be delivered to the residents’ homes, Cayetano said. The services included immunization for children and the distribution of maintenance medication for patients with asthma and hypertension.
Cayetano also gave P1 million to each of the newly created barangays like San Miguel, New Lower Bicutan, North and South Signal, and P500,000 to “mother barangays” for them to come up with action plans to help stem the contagion.
The city government earlier distributed 5,200 food packs containing rice, canned goods, noodles, coffee, a cereal drink and bottled water.
On Wednesday, the Taguig City Health Office reported two COVID-19 fatalities in the city, 22 confirmed cases, 85 people under investigation, and 29 under monitoring. —WITH A REPORT FROM JODEE A. AGONCILLO
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