Malaysia to shut some Top Glove factories in phases amid COVID-19 outbreak

Malaysia to shut some Top Glove factories in phases amid COVID-19 outbreak

FILE PHOTO: Top Glove workers wait for food distribution outside a hostel under enhanced lockdown i
FILE PHOTO: Top Glove workers wait for food distribution outside a hostel under enhanced lockdown in Klang, Malaysia on Nov 17, 2020. (Photo: Reuters/Lim Huey Teng)

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will close some of Top Glove's factories in stages as it moves to screen employees for COVID-19 following a big jump in infections, a senior minister said on Monday (Nov 23).

The world's largest maker of latex gloves has racked up record profits this year on skyrocketing demand for its products and protective gear, thanks to the pandemic.

But as many as 28 of its network of more than 30 factories in the southeast Asian nation will be shut after 1,889 workers tested positive for the coronavirus, from 5,794 screened, said Senior Security Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

READ: Malaysia reports record 1,884 new COVID-19 cases following spike in workplace cluster infections

READ: In Malaysia's Sabah, COVID-19 pandemic rages as migrants flee testing

"On the advice and risk evaluation of the health ministry, it is agreed that 28 of Top Glove factories be closed in stages," Ismail said, so as to allow further screening and quarantine.

He did not say when the closures would begin, however.

Last week, the government ordered 14-day curbs through Nov 30 in an area where Top Glove factories and dormitories are located. The company said the curbs would affect 5,700 workers, or more than a quarter.

Analysts had said the curbs did not change earnings forecasts for the company but they could re-assess projections if infections at the factories rise sharply and curbs are extended.

The company did not immediately respond to questions about details of the situation or the impact on production. 

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Source: Reuters/zl

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