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Condom Shortage Looms

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If grocery shelves empty of hand sanitiser and toilet paper weren’t bad enough, The Guardian reports a shortage of condoms is looming right when we’re all self-isolating at home…

The world’s largest condom manufacturer, Karex Bhd, has not made a single condom in its three Malaysian factories due to the country’s COVID-19 lockdown for over a week.

The world is already experiencing a shortfall of 100 million rubbers, marketed under the Durex brand, to state healthcare systems and aid programs such as the UN Population Fund.

Last Friday, Karex Bhd was given permission to resume production at the end of this week but with only half of its workforce.

“It will take time to jumpstart factories and we will struggle to keep up with demand at half capacity,” said the chief executive, Goh Miah Kiat.

“We are going to see a global shortage of condoms everywhere, which is going to be scary,” he said. “My concern is that for a lot of humanitarian programmes … in Africa, the shortage will not just be two weeks or a month. That shortage can run into months.”

Malaysia is experiencing the worst COVID-19 outbreak in South-East Asia and will be under lockdown until 14 April.

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