The whole country and indeed, the entire world is in unprecedented times as we fight both the COVID-19 virus itself and the huge impact it is and will cause on all of our lives.
On Friday 20th March we were approached by NHS Supply Chain, on behalf of the Government’s Department of Health & Social Care requesting all of our stock currently being held in our UK warehouses of Nitrile, Latex & Vinyl examination gloves. After much discussion our entire company agreed it was without question the right and proper thing to do – our National Health Service is about to be tested to its absolute limits and far beyond, and anything we as a company can do to help we all feel that we must do. So we agreed to the request.
I fully understand the impact that this has on all of our customer base and I give all our customers a guarantee that we will do whatever we can to build all our stock levels back up and provide stock to all of you just as soon as we can, but I am hopeful that you will agree that in the current unprecedented circumstances we must protect those that will be doing all that they can to protect us.
The home of our factories, Malaysia, has introduced a Restrictive Movement Order whereby all movement of people and materials are under restriction, thus putting Malaysia into a total lockdown situation. This countrywide lockdown is for a minimum of 4 weeks, however we anticipate this may be extended further. The Malaysian Government has ordered all glove factories including our own that they must run at a maximum of 50% capacity, this basically means that the entire glove industry will be producing 50% less than normal until further notice, whilst at the same time seeing an unprecedented level of requirement from around the world. On top of this the restriction of movement also impacts the manufacturers and key suppliers of various materials utilised in our manufacturing supply chain which hampers all operations even further.
All the above said our factories are working as hard as they can to provide us with as much of the available capacity and this will enable us, we hope, to continue to help the NHS as much as we can and provide all other customers with as much as we can in terms of stock in the coming weeks and months ahead.
As a business since Wednesday 11th March all our staff were instructed to cease all non-essential travel and all meetings held both on our customer premises and in our own buildings were postponed or cancelled.
We have commenced different shift patterns to enable us to limit the number of employees we have on site and to allow those that are here as much social distancing as is possible whilst continuing to function and operate as a business and from now until Easter our entire business operation and focus will be on providing the NHS with the service they require. Please also be aware that this may continue beyond Easter if dictated to by the NHS and the government.
If you have any questions in relation to the above please do not hesitate to contact your Area Sales Manager.
I sincerely apologise to you all for the major disruption these decisions and measures will cause you and your business, however I hope you can all understand why we felt this was most definitely the right thing to do. The medical staff who are leaving their families and putting themselves at risk every hour of every day need our backing and support and this is the best way we feel we can do this in these quite unprecedented time for the planet.
We will make things right with ALL of our customers in time and that is my promise to you.
Finally, can I ask you all to follow the government advice on isolating and social distancing, look out for and support the more vulnerable and elderly members of our society through these crazy times, and, as importantly, please make sure you all stay safe, stay strong and stay healthy.
Group Managing Director
Supermax Healthcare Limited