Officials in Malaysia say the world’s top rubber glove manufacturer is shutting down 28 of its factories after more than 2,000 workers tested positive for COVID-19.
The government ordered the Top Glove company to shut the factories in stages to allow for all employees to get screened and a mandatory quarantine for those who test positive. The Health Ministry reported that 2,453 workers tested positive for the virus after more than 5,700 were screened.
The government reports a sharp surge in COVID-19 cases in the industrial area outside Kuala Lumpur where the company’s factories and employee dormitories are located.
Top Glove said in a statement it would "cooperate fully with the relevant authorities to implement the temporary stoppage,” and that plant closures had begun. The company said it expects two-to-four-week delays in deliveries as a result of the closures.
Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic and global demand for personal protective equipment, the company has reported record profits this year. The company says it produces 90 billion gloves per year, and controls more than a quarter of the world’s market share for surgical gloves.
The company employs 21,000 workers in Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and China and exports its products to 195 countries.