SINGAPORE – Top Glove, the world's largest medical glove manufacturer, has closed 20 manufacturing facilities in Malaysia after thousands of workers tested positive for Covid-19.
A total of 2,684 Top Glove employees – most of them foreign workers – tested positive on Wednesday, local media reported, citing Malaysia's senior security minister and defense minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
This is by far the largest cluster of new infections in the Southeast Asian country, where a resurgence in cases forced the government to reintroduce a new round of partial lockdown measures, according to the Malaysian Ministry of Health.
The country's authorities are testing all Top Glove employees in the affected factories and dormitories for the coronavirus. International Trade and Industry Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali told CNBC on Thursday that the government hopes to "resolve this issue within the next two weeks".
"It is very unfortunate that there have been some issues recently regarding the positive cases in the factories," he told CNBC's Street Signs Asia.
Azmin pointed out that Top Glove was one of the companies allowed to continue its full operations throughout the entire Malaysian lockdown as it was important to both the local and global markets.
The company saw an increase in demand for its products as a result of the pandemic. This contributed to an increase in the share price.
Top Glove stocks listed in Malaysia and Singapore After the factory closures were announced, they rose more than 300% in both markets this year, data from Refinitiv showed.
Top Glove said in a Wednesday statement that around 5,700 of its employees have been tested for the virus, and The screening of the remaining employees can be completed by the end of this week.