Singapore to Distribute Improved Reusable Masks With 95 Per Cent Filtration Efficiency

The masks can be collected from specified centers or vending machines starting May 26

Singaporeans will be able to pick up improved reusable masks starting May 26 from collection counters at 109 community clubs (CCs) and 661 residents' committee (RCs) centers. This is the third mask distribution exercise by the government which will continue till June 14.

About six million reusable masks have been made that can also be picked up from 24-hour open vending machines. People who are unable to pick up their masks from collection counters can take them from any of the 400 machines placed at all CCs.

Foreign domestic workers and international students living in hostels can also collect the reusable mask with a valid identification card. The manpower ministry will distribute masks to foreign workers living in dormitories. CC and RC counters will be open from 10am to 6pm daily for one week till June 1.

Vending machines have been provided by the Temasek Foundation. There are three steps for collecting the masks. The face covering uses newer material with three layers that have 95 per cent filtration efficiency even after 30 washes, The Straits Times reported.

First Generation Masks

coronavirus face mask
Representational Image Pixabay

In the first round in February, the government distributed first generation reusable masks because of easy availability at that time, said Chan Chun Sing, Deputy Chairman of the People's Association. He said improved cloth was used in the second batch of masks.

Residents are encouraged to collect the masks on behalf of their family members by bringing their ID cards to avoid haos. Child-size masks will also be available for kids below the age of 12 for whom no identification will be required. Adult-size masks are manufactured by Ghim Li in collaboration with Nanyang Technological University, while child-size masks are made by textile firm Ramatex and the Agency for Science, Technology and Research.

Mask Production

N95 masks

The Government Technology Agency of Singapore has developed application RedeemSG that will reflect the records of people who have collected the masks. Availability of masks can also be checked on the "MaskGoWhere" website while going to collect them.

The Defense Ministry and Singapore Armed Forces helped in transporting the masks to various CCs. The country has also boosted the production of surgical masks and expanded the source of supply. "Nobody knows how long and how widespread this pandemic will be, and one should never be complacent about any supply lines, including masks," said Chan.