Seeing that the Covid-19 pandemic has heightened with the number of countries (158) affected and fatalities (6,515 to date) rising, the Malaysian rubber gloves industry is stepping up efforts to restrategise its supply to meet the demands, at least to those severely affected areas.
In a statement by the President of the Malaysian Rubber Glove Manufacturers Association (MARGMA), Dennis Low, he said it is the duty of the rubber glove industry (RGI) to increase productivity to cater to the enormous requirements for protective medical gloves.
As Malaysia is the largest manufacturer of rubber medical gloves supplying almost 65 percent of the global demand, and exporting to 190 countries worldwide, it is of utmost importance not to allow any shortages during this crisis.
Following the announcement by the Prime Minister on the two weeks Movement Restriction Order (MRO) starting from the 18th to the 31st of March, MARGMA believes the intentions are good and timely to ensure better containment of the situation.
Curtailing people movements is a necessity.
MARGMA is also agreeable that certain essential services and industry are allowed to operate.
In this same vein, the RGI will need to continue producing medical and surgical gloves which are essential and critical items in the fight against Covid-19.
However, MARGMA seeks the Government’s understanding that the service providers, and the raw materials and packaging suppliers to the RGI be allowed to operate as without the raw materials, chemicals, and packaging materials, freight and logistics services, it will be impossible to produced the gloves.
Any disruptions of the production & administrative segments will result stoppages to glove manufacturing.
“We need to continue producing to supply to all the healthcare and medical personnel staffs ranging from surgeons, doctors to nurses, para-medicals, and volunteers,” Low said.
And also, not to mention the usage by the community at large, to prevent community acquired infections.
“We understand there are concerns and apprehensions by the healthcare sectors World-wide about this suggestion of a total lock-down in Malaysia.
“MARGMA hopes to allay their fear about this possibility, we stand committed to produce and to assist doctors and healthcare staff in the fight to contain this deadly coronavirus and we shall stand firm and not neglect our duty to safe-guard the wellbeing of all Humanity,” Low concluded.
MARGMA expects the global demand to be about 345 billion pieces this year as compared to only 298 billion in 2019.
Malaysia is looking to export about 65 percent or about 225 billion pieces depending on the spread and duration of COVID-19.