Malaysia's biggest glove maker, Top Glove, has temporarily shut down more than a dozen of its factories after a Covid-19 outbreak.
The Ministry of Health said that there were now 2,524 positive cases in a cluster that broke out on November 7 in areas in and around the state of Selangor, where the globe maker has several factories.
Of the new cases, 1,067 came from the cluster in Selangor state.
Top Glove confirmed in a press release Monday that it had completed a “full screening” of about 5,700 workers at their hostels and that they were “committed to proceed” with the Ministry of Health’s recommended screening tests for the rest of their workers and staff in their factories in the town Meru, which has been the center of the outbreak.
The company added that since November 18, 16 of its facilities in Meru have temporarily stopped production and 12 others are operating at limited capacity.
Malaysia's Health Ministry said a restricted movement control order had been implemented in factory workers’ dormitories and houses since November 17, affecting 5,900 people. But the ministry added that the factory's management employs around 13,000 people across 28 buildings. Government agencies were in discussions Monday around the proposed closure of more factories in stages.
All people who tested positive have been hospitalized and close contacts are under quarantine, the ministry added.
On Monday, Director General of Health Noor Hisham Abdullah said that at 1,884 positive cases, Malaysia had reported the highest daily number of cases since the outbreak arrived to the country.
In recent decades, Malaysia has emerged as a leading supplier of disposable gloves, due to its vast rubber plantations and government support for an industry that generates billions of dollars in sales each year.
Market leader Top Glove said it produces around a quarter of the gloves used worldwide in its 46 factories, mostly in Malaysia.