Recently, Top Glove has been in the spotlight after it became the conduit to Malaysia’s biggest Covid-19 infection group, the Teratai Cluster. Several thousands of its employees had tested positive for Covid-19 over the last month resulting in the area being placed under EMCO.
People living in the vicinity had also tested positive for Covid-19 during a screening exercise conducted recently by the Selangor state government.
ICYMI, American-Canadian digital media platform, VICE News, posted a video on its YouTube channel titled, “This PPE Factory Isn’t Protecting Its Workers Against COVID”, last Friday (11 Dec).
The description wrote: “In the race to produce PPE as fast as possible, workers are being subjected to dangerous conditions at the most dangerous time. We speak with employees, who were living through an outbreak while workplace protections eroded in real-time”.
A day after, Top Glove posted a statement rebuking the video-exposé and claimed that the issues brought up in the clip were “thoroughly misleading and damaging to the company’s good-standing reputation”.
“Please be informed that the claim of workers having to go through three medical examinations before coming to Malaysia to work for Top Glove is false. A worker would go through a maximum of two medical examinations. Each medical examination is valid for two months, and it is an exceedingly rare case that a worker is not deployed within two months.
“As of Dec 8, approximately 94% of our workers who had undergone testing were ready to resume work after being cleared of Covid-19. This included workers who had tested negative and undergone the stipulated quarantine period from close contact tracing,” the company added.
Top Glove also urged reporters to honour the principles of ethical journalism by verifying the news they publish about the rubber glove manufacturer to enable readers to have access to accurate, balanced and transparent reporting amidst a rising number of Covid-19 cases.
Today, however, the company confirmed one of its employees had died due to Covid-19 complications, according to The Star.
The Nepali man, 29-year-old Yamnarayanan Chaudhary Tharu, was employed at the company’s manufacturing facility in Meru here for more than two years. The company said in a statement that Tharu had passed away at the Sungai Buloh Hospital on Monday (Dec 12) due to pneumonia with lung fibrosis.
“Top Glove offers our deepest sympathies and heartfelt condolences to the family and loved ones of the deceased and is working with the authorities for Mr Tharu’s burial arrangements,” the company said today.
It added that compassionate payment will be made to Tharu’s next-of-kin.