(Adds cost and price increases, paragraph 14)
By Liz Lee and Krishna N. Das
KUALA LUMPUR, March 25 (Reuters) – Disposable rubber gloves are indispensable in the global fight against the new coronavirus, yet a month’s lockdown in stricken Malaysia where three of every five gloves are made has upended the supply chain and threatens to hamstring hospitals worldwide.
The world’s biggest maker of medical gloves by volume, Top Glove Corp Bhd, has the capacity to make 200 million gloves a day, but a supplier shutdown has left it with only two weeks’ worth of boxes to ship them in, its founder told Reuters.
“We can’t get our gloves to hospitals without cartons,” Executive Chairman Lim Wee Chai said in an interview. “Hospitals need our gloves. We can’t just supply 50% of their requirement.”
The virus, which emerged in China at the end of last year, has left Malaysia with