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KUALA LUMPUR, July 4 -- The Malaysian Rubber Gloves Manufacturers Association (MARGMA) is pleading the government to enable glove factories to continue operating as gloves are critical in fighting the spread of COVID-19 and other infections during this pandemic period.
President Dr Supramaniam Shanmugam said following the implementation of the Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO) in Selangor, global customers have been calling with great concern on shortage of production and delivery of gloves to them.
“Our members are under tremendous pressure from global hospitals and healthcare workers as the pandemic has now evolved into another variant.
“There is a big fear going around the global healthcare sectors when our minister announced the possibility of a shut-down of the glove industry as the medical gloves are sorely needed to protect the front-liners and hospital staffs,” he said in a statement.
He said MARGMA members collectively produced and exported gloves to 195 countries around the world and Malaysian manufacturers played a big role in humanity response as the largest producer of gloves as a medical device, supplying 67 per cent of global consumption.
Supramaniam said EMCO would hamper the supply situation, hence the association is calling for an urgent meeting with the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) to work together to address concerns by all parties involved.
“We are urgently called for a meeting with MITI to resolve issues surrounding the imposed EMCO as 58 per cent of all gloves produced in Malaysia comes off the glove manufacturers located in Selangor,” he added.
He said the global demand for gloves remained extremely robust for the healthcare sector and MARGMA members have been urged to pay more attention to assist on supply to hard-hit nations including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and many other South American nations.
“As Europe and America move towards a recovery phase, members are gearing up to meet the demand of the non-healthcare sectors such as food handling, industrial, cleanroom laboratory, dermatology, tattooing among all,” he said.
He said global demand for gloves in 2021 is expected to remain at 420 billion pieces, with 13,318 pieces used every second around the world, and grow between 15 per cent and 20 per cent next year.
Supramaniam said MARGMA members have agreed to vaccinate all employees at their company’s own costs and all glove employees, besides being registered for the National Immunisation Programme on MySejahtera, are registered with the Public-Private Partnership Industrial COVID-19 Immunisation Programme, Selangor Vaccination Programme and Vaccination Programme for the Agri-commodity Sector.
“We have also appealed to the government to make available soonest possible the saliva-based COVID-19 test kit which will greatly enhance the frequency for screening of workers. Our manufacturers have also agreed to bear all the costs of these test kits,” he added.
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