The world’s largest maker of surgical gloves is temporarily closing more than half its factories despite record demand — because more than 1,000 employees tested positive for the coronavirus, authorities said Monday.
Top Glove in Malaysia has racked up record profits this year as demand for protective gear sky-rocketed during the pandemic.
But more than 1,000 workers tested positive for the coronavirus Monday — accounting for most of the record surge in the country — forcing the company to agree to temporarily shutter 28 of its 41 Malaysian factories.
In total, at least 2,500 cases have been linked to the area’s cluster, officials said.
“Based on advice from the ministry of health, it was agreed at a special meeting today to shut down 28 Top Glove factories… in stages to allow the workers to undergo tests and quarantine,” Defence Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said Monday.
Top Glove said in a statement it would “cooperate fully with the relevant authorities to implement the temporary stoppage,” and plant closures had begun.
About 5,700 workers have already been screened and the rest will also undergo tests, it said.
Top Glove did not say how the closures would affect its ability to meet orders, with the company able to produce 70 billion gloves a year.
Many of the company’s workers are from Nepal and live in crowded dormitory complexes.
With Post wires