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Coronavirus may be transmitted sexually – Health Minister

Valentine Chinyem

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There is a high possibility of the Covid-19 virus being transmitted sexually, the minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, has said.

Ehanire, addressing an emergency press briefing in Abuja on Thursday, said he believed that “if a person is positive, the virus can be transmitted sexually.”

This is, however, subject to scientific testing as the Covid-19 is a new disease and a lot of research is ongoing on the pattern of transmission of the disease.

However, some scientists have claimed that the virus cannot be transmitted through sexual intercourse except via oral sex.

A scientist, Jessica Justman, who spoke with The Guardian UK, said they are not seeing patterns that indicate sexual transmission.

She, however, advised that when a partner is a Covid-19 case, it is better to steer clear of each other as much as possible.

It has, however, been proven that Covid-19 can be transmitted from person to person and primarily spread through respiratory droplets. Touching contaminated surfaces is thought to be the secondary mode of transmission.

This is one of the reasons why the World Health Organisation and health experts have been campaigning that people should always wash their hands with soap and water as much as possible and when that is not possible, the use of sanitizer is advised.

The UN health agency advised frequent handwashing with soap under running water or using an alcohol-based sanitiser.

It also said that people should avoid crowds, large gatherings and needless physical contact and to always clean surfaces frequently with disinfectants

Also, Mr Ehanire said it is not everyone that has to wear a face mask. He said this action will affect supplies for medical personnel.

Since the onset of the outbreak in Nigeria, many Nigerians have been wearing face masks in an attempt to prevent contracting the virus.

However, Mr Ehanire said if the face masks were for everyone, “Jack Ma will have had to donate 200 million masks.”