Couples in Thailand have been urged by the government to practice 'safe pandemic sex' ahead of Valentine's Day, which includes wearing face masks and avoiding 'face to face sex positions'.
The infection rate of Covid-19 is rapidly increasing in Thailand at the moment, with 13,760 new infections being reported on average each day, according to Reuters.
The number of new daily infections in the Southeast Asian tourism hub are at their highest since 29 August last year and 25 fatalities within a 24 hour period were reported yesterday by local media (12 February).
Of course, the rapid surge of Covid cases is a major worry for the Thai health authorities and precautions are already being taken and advised - and Valentine's Day will certainly not be an exception.
While the majority of us are preparing to spend the most romantic day of the year tomorrow up close and personal with that special someone, it seems as if the government in Thailand has some rather different ideas.
Health authorities have expressed concerns that intimate meetings on 14 February could result in an even bigger surge of Covid cases, while acknowledging people have sex on other days too.
"Covid isn't a sexually transmitted disease, but catching Covid is possible through close-contact breathing and exchanging saliva," Bureau of Reproductive Health director Bunyarit Sukrat told AFP on Friday.
He recommended that couples take antigen tests before going out on dates to prevent passing the virus onto their partners.
They have also been advised against 'face-to-face sex positions and deep kissing' but have been urged to use contraceptives if they wish to avert unwanted pregnancies.
"If possible, wearing face masks while having sex can help reduce Covid risks," Bunyarit said.
The authorities also advised those going out on Valentine’s Day to wear masks and maintain social distancing at home, especially around the elderly and those with chronic disease, to reduce the potential spread of infection.
This isn't the first time the Thai government has advised couples to practise 'Covid-safe' sex.
In August last year, the Department of Health released Covid 'safe sex' advisory, which included finding a position that is not 'face-to-face' as well as avoiding saliva and other secretions.
Dr Suwanchai Wattanayingcharoen, director-general of the department, said to the Bangkok Post that wearing face masks and avoiding facing partners during sex was recommended because there weren't enough vaccines and rapid antigen test kits (ATKs) back then.
But since the Covid-19 situation has changed and lovers appear to be safer when it comes to having sex, ATK testing should be enough for fully vaccinated people, he said.
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