By Hugh Bronstein

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – An Argentine official has given some on-air sex education for onanistic lovers in the time of the coronavirus, underscoring how the pandemic and lockdown in response to it are shaking up every aspect of people’s lives.

Jose Barletta, a doctor with the country’s health ministry, said in a televised broadcast that people needed to wash their hands after sex – whether it was in person or, as is increasingly the case, over digital channels.

“It’s more important than ever to wash your hands after having sexual relations, after masturbation, or virtual sex,” the doctor said.

“It is important to disinfect keyboards, telephones, sex toys and whatever else you might be using, whether or not you are sharing these things with others,” he said.

The coronavirus lockdown has led to an increase in sales of sex toys in countries ranging from Denmark to Colombia.

Argentina’s lockdown began on March 20 and will run until at least April 26. The country has recorded 2,669 confirmed cases of the coronavirus so far, 122 of them fatal.

The country’s center-left President Alberto Fernandez, who has been praised for being one of the first leaders in Latin America to impose strict measures aimed at slowing the spread of the pandemic, was even drawn into the question.

In a radio interview on Friday, Fernandez was asked about the guidance offered by the ministry about sex and hygiene.

“If it’s what the health ministry says, you should listen,” the first-term Peronist leader said. “Don’t make me offer my own opinion about this.”

(Reporting by Hugh Bronstein, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)