KUALA LUMPUR, March 25 — The Malaysian Rubber Gloves Manufacturers Association (Margma) has warned that there could be a chronic shortage of medical gloves in the battle to contain the Covid-19 pandemic at a global level, due to the movement control order (MCO).
Association president Denis Low said in a press statement today that his group have made a request to Putrajaya asking that they be allowed to run at full capacity instead of just operating with 50 per cent manpower.
“The Malaysian Rubber Glove Industry (RGI) has been on over-drive to keep on producing enough medical gloves to meet firstly our national requirements and then to the world.
“Malaysia is using about 120 million pieces per year and this can be easily fulfilled, and we have given assurance to the health minister that there will be no shortage.
“It is the demand from the rest of the world that is going to be very challenging as there is the MCO, whereby rubber glove manufacturers are allowed to operate with just 50 per cent of its original workforce,” said Low.
He pointed out that with only 50 per cent of its workforce, only half the normal quantity of gloves can be produced which could lead to a chronic shortage at a global level.
As Malaysia is the world’s leading medical glove producer, Low said the nation is duty bound to ensure that there are enough gloves supplied to hospitals and all healthcare givers in their fight to stave off Covid-19.
So far, the pandemic has rampaged across 196 countries, infecting some 372,757 people with about 16,231 dead and still counting.
“We are expected to deliver about 225 billion pieces this year, which is about 65 per cent of total world requirements of about 330 billion pieces.
“Margma will continue to talk to the government to allow us to operate at 100 per cent capacity together with the support services and material suppliers, we must all work in tandem,” said low.
He also believed that other foreign powers will be requesting that Putrajaya allows the domestic rubber gloves sector to run at full capacity.
At the same time the association had already advised its international buyers to be disciplined in forwarding sales to their clients.
Margma had told them to concentrate the supply to hospitals, emergency and healthcare workers only.