PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia will donate 18 million pieces of medical gloves to China to assist in the fight against the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) epidemic.
Malaysia is the world’s largest producer of medical gloves, exporting approximately 180 billion pieces worldwide.
“I am pleased that the Malaysian Rubber Export Promotion Council (MREPC) and the rubber gloves manufacturers in Malaysia have pledged to donate 18 million pieces of medical gloves to be sent to Wuhan.
“The medical gloves, both natural rubber and nitrile, will be sent to China in batches with the first shipment already on its way to Wuhan.
“Two companies, Top Glove and Supermax, have already donated 2.3 million pieces of gloves through their local offices and distributors to Wuhan.
“Other glove companies that came forward to support the humanitarian drive are Smart Glove, Hartalega, Kossan, YTY, Brightway and Koon Seng, ” said Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok at a press conference here Friday (Jan 31).
Kok said Malaysia sympathises with China’s plight in battling the 2019-nCov outbreak, which has taken the lives of 213 people so far.
“While Malaysians are concerned about the spread of the virus to our shores, we are equally sympathetic towards China, especially given that the two countries share deep cultural and business ties which have been built over decades, ” said Kok.
In 2014, Malaysia sent more than 20 million medical rubber gloves to Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Nigeria and Congo during the Ebola virus crisis.
A small ceremony was later held where glove manufacturers handed over boxes of gloves to China’s ambassador to Malaysia Bai Tian.
On Wednesday (Jan 29), Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad announced that Malaysia would be helping China by donating food, gloves and face masks, which are currently in demand in the city of Wuhan.
Wuhan, which is in the province of Hubei, is the epicentre of the novel coronavirus and its people are currently under a travel lockdown imposed by the China government.
Malaysia had announced that it would be sending a plane to evacuate its citizens currently stranded there.