No critical shortage of medical gloves — MARGMA

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KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 11): The Malaysian Rubber Glove Manufacturers Association (MARGMA) is allaying fears of a critical shortage of medical gloves, as China and other countries battle the Wuhan virus, saying its members are ramping up production to meet demand. 

In a statement today, MARGMA president Denis Low said its member companies are currently “coping well”, even though affected countries have asked for more gloves to be delivered more quickly to them. 

“Malaysia is a crucial player and we are currently responsible for 63% of the global medical glove requirement or about 220 billion pieces this year. We must certainly deliver in the face of this Viral attack on all humanity!” he exhorted. 

The association had issued the statement in response to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) concern on a chronic shortage of mask,  gowns and medical gloves.  

“We want to assure the world that Malaysian glove makers are committed to produce much more than it normally could, so as to ease the demand. 

“The industry is certainly in an oversold position right now but has not reached a pandemonium position yet. For the moment, we are monitoring the situation closely and if the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) rampage further, we may have to further tweak the hours and the production lines,” Low said.  

MARGMA also urged supporting providers of chemicals, packaging materials, raw materials, logistics and others to ramp up their production and capacity to be in line with additional demand, he further added.  

Meanwhile, Low urged the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Human Resources to expedite processes to ensure an adequate workforce to cope with the “extraordinary global demand”, as the industry is facing a shortage of workers.  

MARGMA also stressed that its members are not profiteering and that new prices of gloves also take into account the added cost from the new RM1,200 minimum wage, which was raised from RM1,100 effective this month, as well as the extra time and labour required to ramp up additional quantities.