KUALA LUMPUR: Glove makers are seeking an urgent meeting with the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) as nearly two-thirds of the products manufactured in the country are from factories located in the Emergency Movement Control Order (EMCO) areas in Selangor.
The president of the Malaysian Rubber Gloves Manufacturers Association (Margma) Dr Supramaniam Shanmugam said on Sunday glove makers in Selangor accounted for 58% of all gloves produced in Malaysia.
The imposition of the EMCO, he said, caused great concerns among their customers as medical examination gloves, like face masks, are essential personal protection equipment items.
Since the governments announcement of the EMCO in Selangor, the manufacturers global customers have been calling with great concern,” he said, as they are worried about the shortage of production and the delivery of gloves.
Our members are under tremendous pressure from global hospitals and healthcare workers as the pandemic has now evolved into another variant, he said, as medical gloves are needed by the front-liners and staff while sterlised surgical gloves were crucial for operations also.
Margma members export gloves to 195 countries and their products account for 67% of global consumption.
Dr Supramaniam added since April 2021, its members had agreed to vaccinate all employees at the companys own costs. All glove employees besides being registered for the National Immunisation Programme on MySejahtera, are registered with PIKAS, SELVAX and the latest VACOMS.
However, up until today, we are still waiting for the delivery of vaccines, he said, but also emphasising the companies have adhered strictly to the SOPs and conducting periodic Covid-19 RTK-Ag screening.
Dr Supramaniam said global demand for gloves remains extremely robust by the healthcare sector and the members have focused to supply the hard-hit countries including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and many other South American nations.
And as Europe and America move towards a recovery phase, members are gearing up to meet the demand of the non-healthcare sectors such as food handling, industrial, cleanroom laboratory, dermatology. Traditionally, this sector makes out about 17% of glove consumption.
He said global demand for gloves in 2021 is expected to remain at 420 billion pieces with 13, 318 pieces used every second around the world. Demand growth will be expected at 15%-20% growth for next year.

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