By Pizaro Gozali Idrus
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AA) – Top Glove, the world’s largest manufacturer of latex gloves, announced it has shut down more than half of its factories after nearly 1,900 coronavirus cases among employees.
“Top Glove has temporarily suspended operations at 16 of its factories in Meru, a town west of Kuala Lumpur, and the 12 remaining facilities are operating at much reduced capacities,” the Malaysian company said in a statement.
The company announced the first cases among its employees on Nov. 5 and the government imposed a quarantine in its worker dormitories on Nov. 17.
With the Malaysian Health Ministry’s help, some 5,800 workers have been screened so far and 1,889 have tested positive.
According to the ministry, around 13,000 workers from all 28 Top Glove factories will be tested over the coming days.
Top Glove, which has seen a surge in demand for its products during the coronavirus pandemic, is facing renewed scrutiny for its labor practices and treatment of migrant workers.
“The safety and well-being of our employees and local community is our utmost priority towards containing the situation and to flatten the COVID-19 curve,” read the statement.
Malaysia reported a record 1,884 new coronavirus cases on Monday, with 1,067, or 57%, of the cases from a cluster originating in Top Glove’s factories and staff dormitories.
The new cases raised the Southeast Asian country’s overall tally to 56,659, including 337 fatalities.