KUALA LUMPUR (March 27): The Malaysian Rubber Gloves Manufacturers Association (Margma) has warned distributors to refrain from profiteering as there is adequate supply of gloves in the country.
“Margma wishes to warn the local distributors to refrain from profiteering and not to give out false information about inadequate supply from the manufacturers so as to inflate the prices.
The glove association said Malaysia only requires about 120 million pieces per year. It will merely take the industry six hours of production time to churn out this annual quantity.
Compared with the gloves industry's capability of producing 230 billion pieces annually, the local consumption is only 0.05% of the total produced by the industry, Margma added.
Hence, it said there should not be any rumours or false information about inadequate supply of the medical and surgical gloves in the local market. Margma also said it is ready and on standby to answer any call and request for gloves at factory prices to cut off the profiteers.
“All the private hospitals have not raised any concern about shortages and we believe the pharmacists are a disciplined lot and would not simply profiteer,” Margma said in a press statement today.
Margma said it is ready to assist immediately upon request if the government hospitals do not have enough stock of gloves. In fact, Margma said its members have distributed millions of gloves for free to hospitals, police, bomba and the emergency services group, within their vicinity.
“This is our industry’s continuous contribution and appreciation to our frontliners,” it added.
Meanwhile, Margma is exhorting its members to ramp up further capacity to ensure that the rest of the world will also not be short of stock, while prioritising the glove needs of Malaysians.
Nonetheless, Margma yesterday urged the government to allow its members to operate at 100% capacity to meet the surge in global demand amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
It warned of a chronic shortage of medical gloves and higher production costs in the wake of rising demand worldwide, as manufacturers’ production capacity is being constrained because they are only allowed to operate with half of their original workforce due to the movement control order (MCO).
“Already, the world is facing a huge shortage of gloves, and now we are operating at half of our capacity. Definitely there will be fewer gloves being produced, and this could cause a chronic shortage [in] the world,” Margma president Denis Low told The Edge Financial Daily.
Malaysia, the world’s largest producer of medical gloves, is expected to deliver about 225 billion pieces this year, about 65% of the total world requirement of 330 billion pieces.
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