On top of everything else we’re facing with the coronavirus worldwide pandemic, we’re apparently on the brink of a global condom shortage. The shortage is looming due to a coronavirus lockdown that has shut down production at the world's largest condom producer, reports The Guardian.
Malaysia-based Karex Bhd has not produced a single condom in more than a week due to a government-imposed lockdown, and the company produces one in every five condoms globally, so it’s having a big impact.
In just a week that means they’re already short 100 million condoms, which are sold under the name Durex, and also supplied to healthcare systems such as the UK’s NHS, so a global shortage is likely to be inevitable.
"We are going to see a global shortage of condoms everywhere, which is going to be scary," Karex’s chief executive, Goh Miah Kiat, told Reuters. He also said the shortage could last for months.
Goh told Reuters he is especially concerned about the looming shortage's effect on humanitarian efforts in Africa, where condoms are in high demand for HIV prevention, but that the shortage will obviously impact anyone who is sexually active.
"The good thing is that the demand for condoms is still very strong because like it or not, it's still an essential to have," Goh said, "given that at this point in time people are probably not planning to have children. It's not the time, with so much uncertainty."
Malaysia has been hit hard by the pandemic, with 2,161 coronavirus infections and 26 deaths at the time of publication. The lockdown is expected to stay in place until at least 14th April.
The number of confirmed coronavirus infections worldwide topped 600,000 on Saturday morning as new cases stacked up quickly in Europe and the U.S. Only two days ago the world passed half a million infections, according to analysis by Johns Hopkins, and now the tally is at 602,000 cases and more than 27,000 deaths, reports the Associated Press.