Bolivia sex workers are donning see-through raincoats to keep Covid-19 at bay

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Desperate times call for desperate measures

Sex workers in Bolivia are now donning raincoats to keep safe during the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed 600,038 people so far.

The workers, who have started returning to work after easing of restrictions, say they don gloves, bleach and see-through raincoats to protect themselves from the deadly virus and germs.

Antonieta, a sex worker and pole dancer says she is using a paper face mask, plastic visor, gloves and a raincoat. She also sprays a bleach solution on the pole she uses to dance for clients at her brothel.

The biosecurity suit will allow us to work and protect ourselves,” she told Reuters as she demonstrated how workers will disinfect poles with bleach spray between dances.

The guidelines will help keep everyone safe

(247newsaroundtheworld.)

The Organization of Night Workers of Bolivia (OTN) — an organization representing sex workers — created the guidelines to help protect sex workers and their clients from the coronavirus, Reuters reported. Prostitution in the South American country is legal and regulated in licensed brothels. Bolivia has around 50,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and has so far suffered 1,898 deaths.

Businesses in Bolivia are slowly reopening after an early lockdown in March.

Read Also: Sex during coronavirus: New trends emerge

It’s a difficult time for everyone

Lily Cortes who is a representative of Bolivia’s sex workers union, says it’s a difficult time for everyone but the covid-19 restrictions are putting women at huge risk.

“We are also part of Bolivian society, we are sex workers, women, aunts and grandmothers that also have to worry about our work hours.

“Unfortunately the sex workers will go out to work the streets and the result will be worse.”

Sex work – is still restricted

(247newsaroundtheworld.)

Work – including sex work – is still restricted during the day and a night-time curfew remains in place in Bolivia.

Vanesa, a single mother of two children says she needs to work to fund her studies. She adds donning the gloves and biosecurity suits are a necessary evil. 

“Our clients respect the issue of safety, that we are taking these measures for our security, but also for theirs,” she says.

Bolivia president Jeanine Anez Chavez tests positive

Last week, the country’s interim president Jeanine Anez Chavez tweeted she had tested positive for Covid-19.

There are concerns that the country, which is one of South America’s poorest nations, is not conducting enough testing. Data shows it is the country with fewest tests per million population in the region.

Bolivia pales in comparison to her neighbour, Brazil, which has been dealt a huge blow, with 1.97 million people affected and more than 75,000 deaths registered.

Bolivia sex workers are not alone 

However, it’s not only sex workers in Bolivia who have gone back to work despite the threat of Covid-19. Last month, Zimbabwe’s sex workers gave Corona the middle finger and went back to the streets to work.

The sex workers opted to risk catching the deadly virus than starve to death at home.

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