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Towards a global shortage of condoms due to the coronavirus?

A company producing one in five condoms in the world has stopped for about ten days. According to this manufacturer located in Malaysia where containment continues, the risk of a global shortage is very real for several reasons.

A deficit of 100 million condoms

Today, the toll of the Covid-19 coronavirus epidemic in Malaysia is 2,320 cases with 27 deaths. However, the country did not wait very long before taking containment measures, measures in force at least until April 14, 2020. Thus, many companies have stopped their activities, including Karex Berhad, manufacturing a out of five condoms in the world . Above all, it is the world leader in this sector, supplying brands such as Durex. Karex Berhad also supplies its products to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

As The Guardian explained in an article published on March 27, 2020, Karex Berhad's three factories had not produced a single condom for about ten days. However, this has resulted in a deficit of more than 100 million condoms . On the day of the publication of the article in the British daily, the activity started again with the approval of the authorities under a derogation concerning risky industries. However, only 50% of the workforce ensure a limited production.

Towards a global shortage of condoms due to the coronavirus?

A very real risk of shortage

According to Goh Miah Kiat, CEO of Karex Berhad, the risk of shortages should be taken seriously. Indeed, it will take time to relaunch the factories and by then, his company will find it difficult to meet the demand . The person concerned also explains that the demand could be even stronger than usual. The reason ? In these times of uncertainty, people are probably not planning to conceive children. Obviously, this assumption remains at the discretion of each but it deserves to be considered.

The other major world producing countries of condoms are China, India and Thailand. In China, activity is gradually picking up but many factories had closed and there is a risk of a second wave of Covid-19. In the case of India and Thailand, the number of cases is currently increasing so that we are probably heading towards containment measures and therefore, towards a significant drop in activity. However, no data from these countries concerning the risks for the production of condoms is not available. In other words, the risk of a shortage of condoms is real but is currently very difficult to measure.