Malaysia's Karex, world's largest condom producer, shuts down due to coronavirus pandemic

Coronavirus and the consequent lockdown have forced the closure of the world's largest condom producer and now experts predict a huge global shortage of the product.

Malaysia's Karex Bhd has not produced a single condom in any of its three factories in the past week due to the lockdown in the country. This would mean a shortfall of 100 million condoms till now. The company usually makes 100 million condoms in a day-day time period.

The company makes one out of every five condoms in the world. Experts say the shortage of condoms could last months because of the shutdown of the factories. Thailand and India are two other countries that produce condoms in large numbers.

Condom production
Condom production in the factory YouTube Grab/ bluehouse

Several countries under lockdown

Most countries have shut down non-essential factories because of coronavirus. The Movement Restriction Order in Malaysia kicked in on March 18. The condom shortage could affect the humanitarian effort in places like Africa. Condoms are in high demand in African countries because of HIV prevention measures.

One of the leading condom producers in China could be back in business soon as the country is ending its lockdown, but there still could be a shortage. Delivery problems due to the spread of the virus are adding to shortages caused by factory closures.

Durex continues to sell its product online as consumers can't access stores because of the lockdown.

Malaysia is Southeast Asia's worst Covid-19 affected country with more than 2,100 cases.

Related topics : Coronavirus