Bolivian sex workers are preparing for life in the age of coronavirus with new equipment including gloves, bottles of bleach and see-through raincoats.
The thigh-skimming ‘biosecurity suits’ are among a number of recommendations in a 30-page coronavirus security manual drawn up by the Organization of Night Workers of Bolivia (OTN).
The group is pushing authorities to lift the day-time business restrictions put in place during the lockdown in the capital La Paz, even if a strict nighttime curfew still impedes their more habitual evening work.
Lily Cortes, a representative of Bolivia’s sex workers union, says some may have no option but to work on the streets if they could not work in the legal brothels and the result will be worse.’
‘We are also part of Bolivian society,’ said Cortes. ‘We are sex workers, women, aunts and grandmothers that also have to worry about our work hours.’
The World Health Organization has said that, based on current evidence, the coronavirus cannot be sexually transmitted. However, some degree of close contact is unavoidable.
Bolivia has 48,187 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 1,807 deaths, but medical experts say the real numbers of those infected could be many times higher.