PUTRAJAYA, Jan 31— The Malaysian Rubber Export Promotion Council (MREPC) and several glove manufacturers here will donate 18 million medical gloves to Wuhan in China that is facing an outbreak of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).
Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok announced this today during a special press conference at her ministry here.
Kok said that the first batch of three million gloves were already on the way to Wuhan, with the rest to be shipped gradually in batches.
“At present, hospitals in Wuhan, the central Chinese city at the crux of the coronavirus outbreak. We are calling out for much needed protective medical supplies, such as masks and gloves, as supplies run low.
“I am pleased that the Malaysian Rubber Export Promotion Council and the rubber gloves manufacturers in Malaysia have pledged to donate 18 million pieces of medical gloves to be sent to Wuhan
“It was during the Chinese New Year celebration that these companies were approached to help China, to help treat patients there,” she said.
Malaysia is the world’s top rubber producer and, in 2014, sent more than 20 million medical rubber gloves to the African nations of Liberia, Sierra Leone, Kenya, Nigeria and Congo during the Ebola outbreak then.
Apart from the MREPC, other donors include Smart Glove Corporation Sdn Bhd, Top Glove Corporation Berhad, Hartalega Sdn Bhd, Supermax Corporation Bhd, Kossa Rubber Industries Berhad, YTY Group, Brightway Holdings Sdn Bhd, Koon Seng Sdn Bhd and Careplus Group Berhad.
China’s ambassador to Malaysia Bai Tian, who was present at the event today, assured Malaysia and the international community that his country could handle the novel coronavirus outbreak.
He then urged for greater international cooperation in dealing with the virus.
“In the meantime, we need to join hands with friends around the world, and to work together, (with) including of course Malaysia, to fight against this battle,” he said.
China reported that its 2019-nCoV deaths reached 213 yesterday, with over 9,800 confirmed infections.
The virus is now present in 22 countries outside of China including Malaysia where there are eight confirmed cases.
This morning, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the 2019-nCoV outbreak as a public health emergency of international concern, in move meant to elevate governmental response towards the virus.