Zika: Condom and gloves sales set to rise

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PETALING JAYA: The first reported Zika case in the country could see an unlikely benefactor – the rubber manufacturing industry, reported the New Straits Times today.

The report stated that in light of the mosquito-borne disease reported in the country, sales of gloves and condoms are set to rise.

The daily quoted Malaysian Rubber Glove Manufacturers Association (Margma) president Denis Low Jau Foo saying that any disease spread across big regions, such as Asean, would definitely trigger high alerts.

“There is a serious need to be adequately protected from the Zika virus. As such, there will be an ad hoc greater demand for medical gloves. The Singapore authorities are gearing up to meet all eventualities,” he said, adding that Margma members are ready to meet higher demand for medical gloves.

A similar pledge was made by Goh Miah Kiat, the chief executive officer of Karex Bhd, the world’s biggest condom manufacturer.

“We are able to meet increased demand for condoms. Our annual installed capacity is set to rise to six billion pieces by the end of this year,” he was quoted as saying.

Apart from being transmitted through blood, Zika can also be spread through sexual intercourse.

Women in more than 60 countries plagued by the disease have also been advised to avoid getting pregnant as the Zika virus infection during pregnancy causes severe foetal brain defects.

Singapore has confirmed 151 Zika cases, including six involving Malaysian patients. A 58-year-old woman from Klang, was the first reported Zika patient in Malaysia, and she is currently recovering at the Sungai Buloh Hospital.