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COVID-19: Face coverings like neck gaiters and scarves should not be used, says MOH

COVID-19: Face coverings like neck gaiters and scarves should not be used, says MOH

People cross a street during morning peak hour commute amid the COVID-19 outbreak in Singapore, Jun 3, 2020. (Photo: REUTERS/Edgar Su)

SINGAPORE: Face coverings such as neck gaiters, bandanas, scarves and handkerchiefs should not be used in place of masks, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Saturday (Aug 29). 

"As these makeshift coverings may not have a good fit around the person’s nose and mouth and are made from materials that are not specific for disease prevention, they may not perform as well as purpose-built masks," said MOH in a media release.

"To ensure transmission rates in the community are kept low, it is critical for every member of public to put on masks that are designed or made specifically to prevent disease transmission."

The ministry's comments come after a recent incident involving a man who was not allowed to board a bus because he was wearing a neck gaiter instead of a face mask. In a video posted online, the man was seen using abusive language on the bus driver.

READ: No excuse to physically or verbally abuse bus captains: Ong Ye Kung

On Saturday, MOH said there have been recent queries on the efficacy of makeshift coverings in preventing the spread of COVID-19.

READ: COVID-19 testing to be offered to more community groups like taxi drivers, food delivery workers and hawkers

"A mask should be worn such that it closely and completely covers the wearer’s nose and mouth, without leaving a gap between the mask and the face," said the ministry. 

"Therefore, face coverings such as neck gaiters, bandanas, scarves, or handkerchiefs should not be used."

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Source: CNA/kv(gs)


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