Malaysia's Top Glove confirms first worker death from Covid-19

The Teratai cluster in Klang, which involves Top Glove workers, is currently the largest Covid-19 cluster in Malaysia. PHOTO: REUTERS

KLANG, Selangor (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysia's glove manufacturer Top Glove Corp has confirmed that one of its employees died from Covid-19 complications.

The Nepali man, 29-year-old Yamnarayanan Chaudhary Tharu, was employed at the company's manufacturing facility in Meru, in Selangor's Klang district for more than two years.

The company said in a statement that Tharu had passed away at the Sungai Buloh Hospital on Saturday (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," said Top Glove in the statement issued on Monday.

It added that compassionate payment will be made to Tharu's next-of-kin.

Top Glove became the centre of attention after it became the conduit to the nation's biggest Covid-19 infection group the Teratai Cluster.

According to an online news site, Tharu had been stationed at Top Glove's 13th factory in Meru, Klang.

He was said to have been working as a security guard for two years and had been attached to a security company.

The news of Tharu's death comes hours after news reports of Top Glove allegedly dismissing one of its foreign workers who is said to have exposed the workers' crowded working conditions.

Reuters reported that Yubaraj Khadka had taken photos in May of workers failing to maintain the recommended one-metre physical distance as they queued up to get their temperatures checked before starting the night shift.

Khadka sent the photos to a workers' rights activist in Nepal.

On Sept 23, Khadka was said to have been given a letter of termination for allegedly exposing the situation.

Meanwhile, the Malaysian government said on Monday that it has ended the 28-day strict lockdown in Top Glove's hostel in Klang. The government had ordered the Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO) to be enforced on the hostel on Nov 17, which was extended until Monday.

As of Sunday, Malaysia recorded a total of 83,475 cases, of which 1,229 were new cases.

The Teratai cluster in Klang, which involves Top Glove workers, is currently the largest Covid-19 cluster in Malaysia.

There are currently 5,450 cases linked to the cluster, including five more cases which were detected on Sunday (Dec 13). The cluster had first emerged on Nov 7.

As of Sunday, Covid-19 claimed four more lives, bringing total Covid-19 deaths in Malaysia to 415.

Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said on Sunday at a Deepavali celebration in Tangkak, Johor that plans are being made by the government to increase the purchase of Covid-19 vaccine from the current amount that covers 30 per cent of the population to one that covers between 60 per cent and 70 per cent of the population.

He said he has also urged the vaccine supplier to hasten the delivery, which is expected to arrive in March.

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