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World’s largest rubber glove maker warns of supply disruptions after factory virus outbreaks

Malaysia’s Top Glove Corp., the world’s largest maker of rubber gloves, said Tuesday it expects a two-to-four week delay in deliveries after more than 2,000 workers at its factories were infected by the coronavirus, raising the possibility of supply disruptions during the pandemic.

Top Glove said it has temporarily stopped production at 16 factories in Klang, a town outside Kuala Lumpur, since November 17 to screen workers, with its remaining 12 facilities in the area operating at much reduced capacities.

The government on Monday ordered 28 Top Glove factories in Klang to shut down in stages to allow workers to undergo screening and mandatory quarantine after 2,453 factory workers tested positive for COVID-19.

The health ministry reported 1,511 more cases in the area on Tuesday, but didn’t say how many were factory workers. The cluster contributed to a record daily high of 2,188 cases nationwide, bringing Malaysia’s total cases to 58,847. The cluster in the Klang area is currently the most active in the country with 4,036 cases.

Top Glove says it produces about 90 billion rubber gloves a year, about one-quarter of the world’s supply, and exports to 195 countries, including Israel. It has seen profits soar amid rising demand for its products due to the pandemic.

— AP

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