Top Glove Malaysia will be the epicenter of Covid’s revival

Singapore – Top Glove, the world’s largest manufacturer of medical gloves, has closed 20 manufacturing sites in Malaysia after thousands of workers tested positive at Covid-19.

A total of 2,684 Top Glove employees – most of them foreign workers – achieved a positive result from Wednesday, local media reported, referring to Malaysia’s security minister and Ismail Sabri Yaakob, defense minister.

This is by far the largest cluster the number of new infections in the Southeast Asian country, where the resurgence of cases has forced the government to apply a new set of partial closure measures, according to data from the Malaysian Ministry of Health.

Authorities in the country are testing Top Glove workers for the coronavirus in the factories and colleges involved. Mohamed Azmin Ali, the minister for international trade and industry, told CNBC on Thursday that the government hopes to “alleviate the problem within the next two weeks”.

“It’s very unfortunate that there have been (were) some issues recently in terms of positive cases recorded in factories,” he told CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia” show.

Azmin pointed out that Top Glove was one of the companies that could continue to be fully operational during the full closure of Malaysia, given its importance in both the local and global markets.

The company has increased demand for its products as a result of the pandemic. This contributed to the rise in stock prices.

Top Glove shares are listed in Malaysia and Singapore after the announcement of plant closures, but this year it will still exceed 300% in both markets, Refinitiv data showed.

In a statement from Top Glove on Wednesday, some 5,700 employees were screened for the virus and screening of remaining employees may be completed by the end of the week.