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World’s Top Surgical Glove Maker Shuts Factories Due To COVID-19

A Malaysian company that is the world’s biggest manufacturer of surgical gloves will close over half of its factories after a surge in coronavirus cases among workers, authorities said Monday.

Top Glove has seen a huge jump in demand since the start of the pandemic as countries scrambled to stock up on protective equipment, pushing up both its profits and share price.

But there has been a cluster of virus outbreaks among Top Glove employees — many of whom are low-paid migrant workers — at factories in an industrial area near the capital, Kuala Lumpur.

More than 1,000 cases were recorded Monday, prompting the government to order the plants to close.

“Based on advice from the ministry of health, it was agreed at a special meeting today to shut down 28 Top Glove factories… in stages to allow the workers to undergo tests and quarantine,” said Defence Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

Top Glove said in a statement it would “cooperate fully with the relevant authorities to implement the temporary stoppage”, and plant closures had begun.

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