Coronavirus causes worldwide condom shortage

The pandemic has meant that large scale condom suppliers have had to reduce their workforce, or close temporarily, which could result in a 100 million shortage.  

Everyone knows the good ol’ chat about the birds, the bees, and the worldwide condom distribution that could be severely affected by a novel pandemic.

Karex Berhad, the world’s largest producer of condoms, has had to temporarily halt all operations as part of the government’s efforts to tackle Covid-19. Based in Malaysia, its CEO is worried about the potential impact a looming shortage could have on the company’s long term sustainability.

Speaking to Reuters, he stated that ‘we need to make sure essential items are continuously being supplied, [as] condoms are a necessity.’ The World Health Organisation lists condoms as an essential item, as they help prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and are an effective method of birth control.

It doesn’t seem like the shortage will be a temporary thing. Karex Chief Executive Goh Miah Kiat has predicted the lag in production could be felt for months, though its clients – which includes Durex – have publicly stated that they’ve yet to notice any changes in supply.

Supply isn’t the only thing being affected, however. Concerns about shipment and delivery have also been raised, as DKT condom shipments have had to postpone their operations to some countries for nearly three weeks, including Egypt.

A shortage of birth control is worrying in any capacity, but even more so this year given the strain that hospitals and medical professionals are already under. The increase in HIV, AIDS, and other sexually transmitted diseases is a very real concern for governments across the globe.

Thankfully, while the shortage will affect supply and production over the next few months, it’s not expected to last beyond the summer. Perhaps we should be panic buying condoms instead of loo roll – it would certainly make more sense.

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