KUALA LUMPUR, March 17 — Malaysian rubber glove manufacturers today urged the government to exclude their operations from national movement restrictions, so they can continue producing medical and surgical gloves during the Covid-19 outbreak.
The Malaysian Rubber Glove Manufacturers Association (Margma) also asked Putrajaya to allow service providers, and raw materials and packaging suppliers to the rubber glove industry to continue operations from tomorrow until March 31 during the Movement Control Order, pointing out that gloves can’t be produced without raw materials, chemicals, and packaging materials, freight and logistics services.
“Any halt of the production and administrative segments of our industry would mean an absolute stoppage to glove manufacturing and it will be disastrous to the world,” Margma president Denis Low said in a statement.
“Hence, we must continue to produce responsibly and adequately to protect all the health care personnel staffs ranging from surgeons, doctors to nurses, para-medicals, and volunteers too. Not to mention the usage by the community at large, to prevent community acquired infections.”
He said Malaysia was looking to export about 65 per cent, or about 225 billion pieces of medical rubber gloves or more, during the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin yesterday announced that the government would impose a Movement Control Order from tomorrow until the end of the month to curb the Covid-19 outbreak that has surpassed 500 cases in Malaysia.
All places of worship and business premises, except for markets and grocery stores selling daily necessities, will be closed. All government and private premises will also be shuttered, except those providing essential services, like water, electricity, communications, security, defence, and health care.
Mass gatherings will be banned, including religious, sports, social and cultural activities. All Malaysians will also be prohibited from traveling overseas during this period, while tourists and foreigners will not be allowed entry into Malaysia.