SINGAPORE: Singapore residents will be able to collect a free pair of reusable antimicrobial masks from next Monday (Jun 29) as part of ongoing efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Masks will be available for collection at any of the 1,200 vending machines located islandwide at community clubs, residents' committee centres and bus interchanges, said Temasek Foundation in a press release on Thursday.
This is part of the StayMasked initiative by the philanthropic arm of state investor Temasek Holdings.
Residents will need to scan the barcodes of their NRIC, birth certificate, FIN or any government-issued identification (with barcode) for collection at these vending machines. They may do so from Jun 29, 10am to Jul 12, 11.59pm.
Each ID barcode has a free quota of one mask kit with a pair of masks.
To prevent overcrowding at vending machines, residents are encouraged to check the website for stock availability.
They may also collect on behalf of their family members or others by bringing along their respective government-issued identification documents.
READ: COVID-19: Singapore to distribute improved reusable masks via vending machines, community centres from May 26
According to the foundation, the free masks have been tested against various bacteria and viruses, with "94 per cent effectiveness against the Influenza A virus", an enveloped virus similar to the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
The masks are washable up to 30 times and "each pair will last up to two months, with a daily 'wash one, wear one' usage", said Temasek Foundation.
"The high touch surfaces of the vending machines are coated with long-lasting disinfectants," it added.
Residents may also purchase up to five additional mask kits, at S$8 per kit, by pre-ordering on the website or through DBS PayLah! from Jun 25 to Jul 11.
Payment may be done using DBS PayLah!, PayNow, or with major credit cards. Direct sales or payment will not be available at the vending machines.
A unique QR code will be generated for each successful transaction and sent to the mobile number used for the order. The person may then scan the QR code at the vending machines to redeem their pre-paid mask kits.
They may redeem the balance order from a different machine if the initial vending machine is out of stock.
"Now, as a business, we think it's our duty to join in this effort to keep Singapore safe," said Mr Lim Boon Heng, chairman of Temasek Holdings.
"Unless everyone is safe, nobody is safe, and business cannot be done if people are unsafe."