The World is Running Out of Condoms as Factories Face Coronavirus Lockdown

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We’ve all seen the jokes on social media about how nine months from now a new generation will be born that will eventually be dubbed “Coronials”—and once they come of age, “quaranteens.”

After all, if we’re stuck working from home or self-isolating along with our partner or significant other, it’s only natural and healthy for us to seek solace through sexual activity—and the increase in baby-making activities can naturally result in a miniature “baby boom.”

But as it turns out, the joke may have some basis after all—especially because a global shortage of condoms could deprive couples staying at home from one of the more popular birth control methods.

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Reuters reports that Malaysia’s Karex Bhd, a company that is responsible for producing one out of every five condoms globally, spent over a week without producing a single condom at its three factories after the government imposed a lockdown to halt the spread of the coronavirus.

This has resulted in a shortfall of 100 million condoms which normally would be marketed worldwide under such brands as Durex, distributed through aid programs like the United Nations Population Fund, and the U.K.’s National Health Service (NHS).On Friday, the company was granted permission to resume production under a special exemption for critical industries but with only half of its workforce.