Thursday, May 21, 2020 1:54 pm
An Indonesian official on Thursday said restrictions to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus had forced 10 per cent of couples in Indonesia to abandon contraception.
According to the Head of the National Population and Family Planning Agency (BKKBN), Hasto Wardoyo, lack of access to contraceptives could result to 420,000 pregnancies during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The government estimates that three million couples stopped using contraceptives between March and April and 15 per cent of them could end up being pregnant.
“With an additional 420,000 births next year, population growth in Indonesia could surge dramatically. If you plan to get pregnant, now is not the right time,” Wardoyo said.
According to government data nearly five million babies are born every year, and some 28 million couples used contraceptives in 2019.
Health officials in Tasikmalaya, a district in West Java, reported that the pregnancy rate doubled in the January-March period compared to 2019.
Indonesia recorded 973 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, the largest single-day rise so far, taking the national tally to 20,162.
The death toll rose to 1,278, after 36 additional deaths were recorded overnight. (dpa/NAN)