Is a coronavirus baby boom on the way? Taiwan official hopes ‘Yes’

Health Minister Chen Shih-chung expressed hopes today that the ongoing health crisis would result in a lot of babies, not divorces

A young child plays with her bicycle in this undated picture. (CNA)

TAIPEI (The China Post) — With couples around Taiwan forced to spend more quality time together at home than usual due to coronavirus outbreak, authorities hope that it would result in a coronavirus baby boom within the next year.

Speaking at a daily press briefing, Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC, 中央流行疫情指揮中心), expressed hopes on Monday that the ongoing health crisis would result in a lot of babies, not divorces.

“If it can be done, it can be considered a positive outcome from the crisis,” he said amid reports that the virus outbreak could result in 5,000 to 10,000 extra births in 2020.

Hospitals in central Taiwan reported an increase of about 20 to 30 percent in the number of women visiting their doctor for pregnancy tests in the past month compared to the beginning of the year, according to Chinese-language media.

Asked by reporters about the soaring number of pregnancies, the minister said with a laugh that he would have to check the aforesaid numbers, but if that was indeed the case, “it would be a blessing.”