Complex Made Simple

Why is all the COVID-19 talk about masks and none about gloves?

Gloves were once with masks a one-two punch against the Coronavirus, but it has since been retired from the discussion. Why?

Wearing gloves outside of these instances will not necessarily protect you from getting COVID-19 Brokers are peddling counterfeit medical gloves as a shortage of this critical commodity has tripled prices The Malaysian industry expects to sell 112 billion gloves worldwide this year, 48% more than in 2019

Wear your mask, cover your mouth and nose, and keep a safe distance from sneezers and coughers. It seems the mask takes the trophy as the COVID-19 champ and center of attention.

Yet gloves were once with masks a one-two punch against the Coronavirus, but it has since been retired from the discussion.

Are they redundant in the fight against the pandemic?  

Preventative actions against COVID-19

Practice everyday preventive actions like keeping social distance (at least 6 feet) from others, washing your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds (or using a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol), and wearing a mask when you have to go out in public.

Wearing gloves outside of these instances (for example, when using a shopping cart or using an ATM) will not necessarily protect you from getting COVID-19.

Wear gloves when caring for someone who is sick at home or at the hospital. 

Use disposable gloves when cleaning and disinfecting the area around the person who is sick or other surfaces that may be frequently touched at home.

Use disposable gloves when touching or having contact with blood, stool, or body fluids, such as saliva, mucus, vomit, and urine.

After using disposable gloves, throw them out in a lined trash can. Do not disinfect or reuse the gloves.

Read: Summer is over: Will winter bring a second wave of COVID-19?

Touching infected surfaces 

COVID-19 is spread mainly in the air from person to person through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. 

The other way you can get the virus is from contaminated surfaces. So whenever you touch a surface with the virus on it and then touch your mouth, nose, or eyes, you’ve possibly exposed yourself to the virus. However, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control says this doesn’t appear to be the main way that the virus is spread.

Thoroughly washing your hands for at least 20 seconds remains the best defense against COVID-19. But when you go to the grocery or other public places, you may not have access to soap and water, hand sanitizer, or wipes to clean grocery carts. That’s why some people are wearing gloves. But wearing gloves can give you a false sense of security. Because the virus adheres well to latex and other types of gloves, if you touch your face at any point, you’ve still potentially exposed yourself to the virus.

Plus, many people don’t know the proper way to take off gloves and can contaminate their hands when taking off gloves. You need to reach inside your right glove and peel it inside out without touching the outside, which can take some skill.

The Middle East disposable gloves market is to garner $615 million by 2025 at a 7% growth rate, says Allied Market Research.

Best COVID-19 gloves to buy

 “Pre-COVID, 100 billion nitrile gloves were disposed of annually,” says Brian Moseley, R&D Technical Manager at Showagroup, the only U.S. manufacturer of nitrile, single-use PPE gloves. 

“After COVID, our projections are 150 billion for the year.”

The 4 mil Nitrile glove deals with protecting against the hazards of the coronavirus.  

To find out if nitrile gloves are resistant to coronavirus, you want to make sure they pass the test designated EN ISO 374-5:2016.

Brokers are peddling counterfeit medical gloves as a shortage of this critical commodity has tripled prices during the pandemic.

In recent weeks, companies employing front-line workers have bought fake versions of “nitrile,” or synthetic rubber gloves, sold in boxes labeled “examination grade,” posing potential health risks, according to glove distributors and manufacturers.

Before COVID-19, you could buy a box (of nitrile gloves) for $3 – $6, but on Amazon today, the average price is $19 – $25.

Read: The GCC has been named the “medical tourism capital of the world”

Labor practices inside glove factories

COVID-19 has created a windfall for the Malaysian companies that supply nearly two-thirds of the disposable latex and synthetic gloves used to fight contamination in hospitals, labs, pharmacies, and kitchens worldwide. Top Glove, maker of one-quarter of the world’s gloves,  I accused by the US of subjecting workers to abusive living and working conditions, excessive overtime, and what the International Labor Organization calls debt bondage.

Top Glove made $321 million in profits, the company reported last quarter.

The Malaysian industry expects to sell 112 billion gloves worldwide this year, 48% more than in 2019. The company is rapidly building new facilities to raise output to 100 billion gloves in 2021.

The U.S. is the No. 1 customer, importing $1.6 billion worth of rubber gloves from Malaysia in 2019, according to federal data.