SINGAPORE: Residents in Singapore will be able to collect free reusable masks and alcohol-free hand sanitiser from March and April, in another nationwide distribution by Temasek Foundation.
In a Facebook post, Temasek Holdings CEO Ho Ching said the reusable masks will be ready for collection on Mar 1. Every Singapore resident can each collect one navy-blue mask from Swiss company Livinguard, provided by Temasek Foundation, she said in the post last Friday (Feb 19).
"Like before, we cover Singaporean and non-Singaporean residents, as no one is safe till everyone is safe," said Mdm Ho.
This is the fourth national mask distribution by Temasek Foundation, and the collection will last for two weeks.
Between June last year and end-January, about 26 million reusable masks have been distributed, Temasek said in a Facebook post on Jan 28.
The new mask is made up of two layers - the outer layer is a water repellent antimicrobial layer while the antibacterial treatment on the inner layer "kills any bacteria from our saliva", said Mdm Ho.
The mask also does not have to be washed after daily use, she said. Instead, the mask can be washed once or twice a week. With up to 30 washes, the mask can be used daily for about six to seven months.
Even after 30 washes, the mask can be used as an ordinary two-layer cotton mask. It can also be used as an "outer mask" to provide better protection for those who may be wearing another mask underneath.
"For instance, if there should be an outbreak of the more infectious variants from UK, South Africa or Brazil, we should use a double mask for extra protection," said Mdm Ho.
The new Livinguard mask also has an elastic chin to provide a better fit and air seal. However, its sizing differs from the black ProShield masks that were distributed in another exercise last November.
"Do recheck your mask size before collecting or ordering, as no exchange or refund will be allowed for hygiene reasons," said Mdm Ho.
Meanwhile, mask vending machines at 20 community centres have been moved to adjacent HDB blocks, as the centres will be used for the national COVID-19 vaccination roll-out.
The vending machines are also being restocked, Mdm Ho added.
HAND SANITISER DISTRIBUTION TO START MID-APRIL
In its second such initiative, Temasek Foundation is also distributing 500ml of alcohol-free hand sanitiser to each household from mid-April.
The sanitiser is produced by local company Klenco.
Unlike the earlier distribution exercise in April 2020, residents can collect the free hand sanitiser from vending machines.
Residents will have to bring their Singapore Power (SP) utilities bill, as well as their own bottle, for collection.
The SP bill for both March and April - both paper and electronic -will contain a special QR code with residents' SP bill number.
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To start the collection process, residents will have to scan the QR code at the vending machine readers or key in their SP bill number on the touch screen. Once done, a #BYOB bottle sticker will be generated and residents can collect their free hand sanitiser.
Mdm Ho hopes that this will allow every household to collect "in a hassle free level, at all hours" at their nearest community centres.
More information will soon be available for both distribution exercises.