The spread of the Zika virus has prompted Puerto Rico to order a price freeze on condoms including other products which are perceived as preventive measures for the spread of the infection. Government officials stated that stores which are found to increase the prices of these products are going to pay a fine of up to $10,000.
Puerto Rico, apart from Brazil, is also facing a public health emergency after the Zika virus has spread around the Latin America region. Some reports indicate that there are about 60 suspected Zika cases which have been listed in the country, yet only nine have been confirmed to be related to Zika virus, Salud reported.
Zika-preventive measures like price monitoring earned the support of the public; however, some members of the business sector does not welcome the decision. The idea of putting emphasis on the sales of the condom, according to them, conveys a wrong message. The virus was not the result of sexual acts but originated from mosquitoes.
Condoms in Puerto Rico are being sold for $1.66 per piece or $24.49 for 24 pieces. The DACO also included a price-freeze on other items like hand sanitizers, insect repellants and window screens. Puerto Rico gave emphasis on condom use as soon as it was announced that the Zika virus may also be passed on through sexual intercourse.
In other news, Zika has also affected the travel industry of Puerto Rico. Leisure trips going to the country, in spite of the discounts given to airfare, people do not seem to bite the offer. According to Robert Mann, an expert on the airline industry, travelers are worried that the country’s economy’s will affect the way the resort facilities are going to be efficiently maintained, Reuters said.
Zika virus, according to industry insiders, is not solely the cause of slow sales. Other factors such as Puerto Rico’s climate in January may also be affecting the bookings.