Canada’s chief medical officer, Dr. Theresa Tam has advised people to stop kissing and consider wearing a mask when having sex to reduce their chances of being exposed to the novel coronavirus.
Dr. Theresa Tam stated this in a public statement issued on Wednesday, where she laid out sexual ground rules to keep partners safe from COVID-19 while engaging in sexual intercourse.
She said there is little chance of catching COVID-19 from semen or vaginal fluid, but sexual activity with someone new does increase the risk of contracting the virus, particularly if there is close contact like kissing.
“Sexual health is an important part of our overall health,” she wrote. “However, sex can be complicated in the time of COVID-19, especially for those without an intimate partner in their household or whose sexual partner is at higher risk for COVID-19.
“Current evidence indicates there is a very low likelihood of contracting COVID-19 through semen or vaginal fluids. But, sexual activity with new partners does increase your risk of infection (or) spreading by close contact, like kissing.”
“If you choose to engage in an in-person sexual encounter with someone outside of your household or close contacts bubble, there are some steps you can take to reduce your risk,” Tam wrote.
She advised to skip kissing, avoid face-to-face contact, and consider using a mask that covers the nose and mouth. You should also limit the use of alcohol or other substances so “you and your partner(s) are able to make safe decisions.”
“The lowest risk sexual activity during COVID-19 involves yourself alone,” Tam said.
She also recommended not having sex if your partner or yourself, are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, and said that the most important step is having a trusting relationship with your sexual partner.
Tam added that your partner is at a higher risk for serious complications from the virus if they have an underlying medical condition, compromised immune system, or are obese.
“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.” Tam said.
Tam said 129,425 people have contracted the virus in Canada, with 88.5 percent recovering so far. At least 9,132 have died from the virus and during the past week, an average of more than 490 new cases across the country have been reported each day.
Meanwhile as of Wednesday night, Nigeria recorded 216 new cases of coronavirus, bringing the total number of infection in the country to 54,463.