COVID-19 Latest: World's Top Surgical Glove Manufacturer Shuts Factories Due To COVID-19. More Disruptions In Medical And Drug Supplies Expected
: Top Glove, a Malaysian company that is the world's biggest manufacturer of surgical gloves will close over half of its factories after a surge in COVId-19 cases among workers, Malaysian health authorities said Monday.
The company had seen a huge jump in demand since the start of the pandemic as countries scrambled to stock up on protective equipment, pushing up both its profits and share price.
However there has been a cluster of virus outbreaks among Top Glove employees many of whom are low-paid migrant workers at factories in an industrial area near the capital, Kuala Lumpur.
It was reported that more than 1,200 cases were recorded Monday, prompting the government to order the plants to close.
It was not known if gloves produced by the company were contaminated as a result.
Malysian Defence Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said, "Based on advice from the ministry of health, it was agreed at a special meeting today to shut down 28 Top Glove factories in stages to allow the workers to undergo tests and quarantine."
The company said in a statement it would "cooperate fully with the relevant authorities to implement the temporary stoppage", and plant closures had begun.
About 5,800 workers have already been screened and the rest will also undergo tests, it said. Top Glove did not say how the closures would affect its ability to meet orders.
Top Gloves operates 47 factories, 41 in Malaysia and many of its workers are from Nepal and live in crowded dormitory complexes.
The glove manufacturer can produce more than 70 billion gloves a year and is a major global supplier.
Malaysia is battling a resurgent outbreak of the coronavirus which has infected more than 56,670 individuals and killed 337.
The country's glove manufacturers and other industries have long been accused of mistreating migrant workers, and the United States in July banned the import of gloves from two Top Glove subsidiaries over concerns about forced labour.
It has been observed that mistreating migrant workers is very predominant characteristic among Muslim countries like Malaysia, the United Arab Emirates and Saudia Arabia, etc.
Meanwhile the COVID-19 pandemic is also causing a disruption in the supply chain for pharmaceuticals and medical equipment.
It is getting hard to source for APIs or active pharmaceutical ingredients from countries in Europe, Middle East like Turkey and Iran and even from India.
This has resulted in drug companies having a problem fulfilling orders and resulting in a growing shortage of numerous drugs in America, Europe and elsewhere.
The same is also now happening for the medical equipment and medical device industries.
Of course if one is looking for substandard and fake products there are lot to procure from China and South Korea but even that might not be more long as China is also now witnessing outbreaks in various cities starting with Shanghai to even other cities and it is not long before a major crisi
s erupts again in the country and the same goes for South Korea.
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