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Article

14 Dec 2020

Author:
Rebecca Ratcliffe, The Guardian

Migrant worker at Malaysian medical glove manufacturer dies of Covid-19

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14 December 2020

A worker at the biggest global producer of medical rubber gloves has died after contracting Covid-19, in the first known Covid-related death of an employee at the Malaysian company since the virus began to spread through its factories and dormitories.

Top Glove’s profits have surged during the pandemic, but the company has faced repeated criticism over its treatment of migrant workers, including claims that it has failed to protect them from the coronavirus.

More than 5,400 people have been infected, many of them Top Glove workers, due to outbreaks at the company’s factories, where workers have warned there is little social distancing.

...a 29-year-old worker, originally from Nepal, died after being diagnosed with Covid-19 pneumonia with lung fibrosis. He had worked at Top Glove’s manufacturing facility in Klang, 25 miles (40km) west of the capital, Kuala Lumpur, for more than two years. It is not known whether he contracted the virus at work.

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Top Glove has not yet responded to a request for comment, but has previously rejected claims that workers have been mistreated.

[...[

Andy Hall, a workers’ rights campaigner, said international buyers and government regulators had “turned a blind eye” to concerns to “ensure faster and cheaper delivery of much needed PPE during the pandemic”.

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