PUTRAJAYA: In a show of solidarity with China following the outbreak of the 2019 novel-coronavirus (2019-nCoV), the Malaysian Rubber Glove Manufacturers Association and the Malaysian Rubber Export Promotion Council has pledged to donate 18 million medical gloves to healthcare workers that are in shortage of medical supplies.

Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok said Malaysian glove industry players are prepared to be at the forefront of supplying high quality medical gloves to the world, especially in critical times such as this to battle against the outbreak and the current pandemic.

“In 2014, Malaysia sent more than 20 million medical rubber gloves to five African nations - Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Nigeria and Congo - which were battling the deadly Ebola virus, addressing the need of the medical workers in those countries at that time,“

“The medical gloves, both natural rubber and nitrile, will be sent to China in batches with the first shipment being already on its way to Wuhan,“ she said at a press conference announcing the initiative today.

The medical gloves will be supplied by 10 companies, namely Top Glove, Supermax, Smart Glove, Hartalega, MREPC, Kossan, YTY, Brightway, Koon Seng and Careplus.

Also at the press conference was China’s Ambassador to Malaysia, Bai Tian, who expressed his gratitude to the Malaysian glove manufacturers for their donation pledge.

“This donation has fully demonstrated friendship betweeen Malaysia and China. However, there is a tough battle that still awaits us and we will emerged triumphant. Let us join hands to work against the coronavirus and cooperate closer with countries around the world, eventually, we will overcome difficulties,“ he said.

This comes as the World Health Organisation declares the coronavirus outbreak as a global health emergency, allowing the WHO to support lower and middle income countries to strengthen their disease surveillance and prepare them for cases.