By Shadrack Andenga Odinga
Canada’s lead medical doctor on Friday surprised the world when she suggested that another way to prevent spreading Covid 19 among partners is to skip kissing, and then have sex while wearing a mask.
Dr Theresa Tam earlier on issued a statement as her country struggles to tame the virus.
“Sexual health is an important part of our overall health. However, sex can be complicated in the time of Covid-19.” the statement said adding that risks increase for partners engaging with people outside their household.
“The lowest risk sexual activity during Covid-19 involves you alone,” Tam, the chief public health officer advised.
But for Canadians choosing to “engage in an in-person sexual encounter” outside their bubble, she suggested a number of steps to reduce risk including “avoiding face-to-face contact or closeness.”
A trusting relationship should first be established and partners should also consider using a mask that covers the nose and mouth, Tam says.
According to Tam, Current evidence indicates there is a very low likelihood of contracting the novel coronavirus through semen or vaginal fluids. However, even if the people involved do not have symptoms, sexual activity with new partners does increase your risk of getting or passing Covid-19 through close contact, like kissing,” her statement.
Sex should be avoided if either person has Covid-19 symptoms, the statement says, suggesting “limiting your use of alcohol and other substances so you and your partner(s) are able to make safe decisions.”
Of course, the most common health advice was also echoed — to continue to practice safe sex, including by using condoms and knowing the STI status of oneself and their partner.
“By taking these precautions and staying conscious of the risks we assume, Canadians can find ways to enjoy physical intimacy while safeguarding the progress we have all made containing Covid-19,” Dr. Tam’s messaged concludes.
Canada has seen more than 129,000 cases of Covid-19, including 9,135 deaths, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada.
However, it’s now not clear if such measures can be considered by countries like Kenya.
Photo: courtesy of Robert Bradley