After a confirmed COVID-19 outbreak, Malaysian glovemaker Kossan cut capacity

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KUALA LUMPUR – After 427 employees tested positive for COVID-19, Malaysian glovemaker Kossan Rubber Industries Bhd will see production capacity reduced by nearly 25 percent for two weeks, media reports and analysts said.

Kossan is the Southeast Asian country’s new maker of medical gloves to be affected by the pandemic in recent weeks.

After more than 5,000 employees were infected, Top Glove, the largest glove manufacturer in the world, became the location of Malaysia’s largest virus cluster. Smaller rival Hartalega has registered instances as well.

After a total of 7,004 employees were screened, the latest outbreak was confirmed at one of Kossan’s six facilities, Kenanga Research, based in Kuala Lumpur, said in a statement, citing a company briefing on Tuesday for investors and analysts.

Kenanga and three other research houses said that the factory has since been shut down for sanitization, while its remaining 1,667 employees who tested negative are under quarantine.

Kossan founder Lim Kuang Sia, confirming the news, told that the outbreak was likely to affect less than 2% of the bottom line of the company.

“The production impact is only for two weeks (starting Dec. 4),” Lim quoted the financial news site as saying.

Representatives of Kossan did not respond immediately to Reuters’ requests for comment by phone and email.

Affin Hwang Capital said that for two weeks following the outbreak, Kossan had voluntarily shut down close to 25 percent of its production capacity, with operations scheduled to resume on Dec. 20.

As a precaution to move forward, Kossan also intended to test 20 percent of its employees every two weeks, the research houses said.

Kossan Rubber Industries Berhad manufactures and sells rubber products. Through its subsidiaries, the Company also manufactures and trades latex examination gloves as well as fabricates and installs machinery with Lim Kuang Sia “Tan Sri Lim” as the Managing Director/CEO/Founder.

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