MALAYSIA: Coronavirus - Malaysian glove makers ready to increase output
Malaysian glove makers are prepared to gear up to produce more gloves to meet the requirements if the coronavirus outbreak, which originated in Wuhan, China, becomes pandemic. Malaysian Rubber Glove Manufacturers Association (Margma) president Denis Low issued the statement on Friday (24 January 2020) to allay the fear that there may be a shortage of medical gloves in the face of the onslaught of the coronavirus in Wuhan.
“While we may be having a shortage of workers and the fact that we cannot have more overtime, the industry will then have to tweak the production lines to run at optimum levels, to churn out the medical gloves to supply to the world,” he said. Low said there were serious ongoing procurement of gloves, from the affected areas and if it becomes pandemic, the demand could be astronomical.
“Taking a lesson from the H1N1 virus and the notion that the coronavirus can be much more worse than H1N1, the rubber glove industry will certainly ramp up production to meet the demand; purely from a humanitarian stance,” he said. During the period of H1N1, medical glove consumption grew by 17 %.
“We hope and pray, that the virus can be contained and will not spread as quickly as the H1N1. However, if the situation warrants it, we will be ready and will be able to provide enough medical gloves to the world,” he said. As for the outlook for this year and beyond, he said the industry was bracing for an inevitable increase in costs relating to wages, utilities, packaging and the extra cost incurred in ensuring a conducive working environment for all the workers.
Source: Daily “The Star”, Kuala Lumpur; 24 Jan 2020
(Syed Rashid Ali, Karachi, Pakistan)