Fri | May 7, 2021

Possible condom shortage looms as COVID lockdown hits Malaysian manufacturer

Published:Saturday | March 28, 2020 | 12:00 AM
Karex Bhd, which has three factories in Malaysia, had been out of operation for more than a week as the government seeks to contain the spread of the virus there, imposing tight restrictions on movements.

There could be global shortage of condoms as a result of a halt in production because of a COVID-19 lock down in Malaysia, which has affected the world's largest producer.

Karex Bhd which has three factories in Malaysia, was out of operation for more than a week as the government seeks to contain the spread of the virus there, imposing tight restrictions on movements.

It was only given permission to restart production on Friday.

However, it is only allowed to use 50 per cent of its workforce, under a special exemption for critical industries.

The shutdown means a shortfall of 100 million condoms, normally marketed internationally by brands such as Durex, supplied to state health care systems such as Britain’s National Health Service or distributed by aid programmes such as the UN Population Fund.

Karex Bhd makes one in every five condoms globally. 

Up to late Friday, Malaysia had recorded 2,320 COVID-19 cases with 27 deaths.

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