Moving to ‘prevention better than cure’ products

GEORGE TOWN: With face masks expected to see a drop in demand following the latest relaxation of rules, the safety and medical industries have switched their attention to hygiene and sanitisation products.Safetyware Group managing director Wong Kee Wei said his company would focus on products such as antibacterial hand wash, surface and floor disinfectants, and wipes.

“Safetyware will focus on hygiene and sanitisation products because prevention is better than cure,” he said.

Wong said face mask production would gradually decrease by between 20% and 30% in the initial stage.

“We will carry on with production as there is still a sizable number of people who are used to wearing face masks and will continue to use them.

“These include people who are concerned about contracting Covid-19 or the flu, as well as people who are concerned about the elderly and young kids at home, as they do not want to pass on any virus to their families,” he said yesterday.

B. Braun Medical Industries Asia Pacific president Lam Chee Hong said demand for medical products would still be there even after the Covid-19 pandemic.

The company is one of the biggest producers of intravenous catheters (IVCs) in the world.

“Every year, we produce over 600 million pieces (of IVC) in Penang to supply to the world.

“As for other medical products, demand will still be there because new hospitals are being built and more people can afford to get medical treatment.

“New healthcare products, especially medical devices, will continue to be developed,” he said, adding that there was an increase in demand for syringes, hand sanitisers, face masks and gloves during the pandemic.

Lam also said many elective cases were postponed at hospitals during the pandemic.

“As we are transitioning to an endemic phase, elective cases that have been in the backlog in private hospitals are now coming back.

“Most hospitals are operating at 80% capacity and our production lines for medical devices such as IVCs, surgical instruments and pharmaceuticals are currently fully utilised.

“The only shortage we have now is manpower,” he said after hosting a media familiarisation tour as part of its 50th anniversary in the country.

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