Health Ministry officials said Friday morning that those unable to be with their partners due to the lockdown should consider the use of “virtual sex,” as the government’s daily press briefing turned a little spicy.
Infection specialist Dr José Barletta began his part of the briefing by saying "there is still little information on how the coronavirus can be transmitted during sexual intercourse," adding that citizens shouldn’t be looking to get it on with strangers at the moment.
"Social distancing is the most effective measure of prevention of the coronavirus. So when we speak of distancing it is important to avoid face-to-face contact and that includes sexual encounters with people with whom we do not live,” he said.
Barletta, who leads a taskforce overseeing responses to HIV, hepatitis and tuberculosis, added that “if the person we live with has a fever, sexual contact should be avoided [too].”
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"We know that the coronavirus is transmitted with drops that we expel when we speak, cough or sneeze, but there is little information available on whether the virus is eliminated through semen or secretions from the vagina and rectum,” he said. “Yes, it can be transmitted with the kisses and it is quite likely that it can be transmitted through anal or oral sex," he said, backing the use of condoms.
He said “virtual sex” and masturbation were replacement options for those not locked up with their loves, before recommending – in words perhaps uttered for the first time by a government official – that “there are a lot of online applications to meet people, and tools such as video calls, virtual sex and sexting.”
The good doctor closed with a hearty recommendation that one wash their hands very thoroughly, especially after having sex or masturbating. He also stressed the importance of sanitising and disinfecting sex toys, keyboards and phones and anything else used during the act, in order to control the spread of the coronavirus.