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World’s Largest Condom Producer Warns of Shortage

FILE - Condoms are seen at Malaysia's Karex condom factory in Pontian, 320 km (200 miles) southeast of Kuala Lumpur November 7, 2012.

The world’s top condom producer is warning of an impending shortage because of coronavirus precautionary shutdowns.

Malaysia-based contraceptive company Karex makes one in every five condoms in sold in the world, but the company was forced to shut down at least half its production almost two weeks ago. Karex Chief Executive Officer Goh Miah Kiat says that means more than 100 million condoms were not in the marketplace.

With production limits in place until April 14, Goh expects to produce 200 million fewer condoms.

The French News agency, AFP, reports the United Nations’ reproductive health agency, the Population Fund, is also warning of a shortage.

An agency spokesperson tells AFP other condom producers have been hit by the shutdowns as well, plus border closings and other restrictions on travel are contributing to the shortages. They said they were taking steps such as finding extra suppliers to support urgent needs.

According to the reports, the shortage could have a devastating effect on the agency’s family planning as well as AIDS prevention efforts around the world.