Singapore

Famous local tailor switches to sewing masks to help fight virus

Local bespoke tailor, Meiko Tailor, is shutting down for a month from tomorrow in keeping with the more stringent measures imposed by Singapore, but it has been work-as-usual for the firm in the last few days.

It has been making reusable masks - and giving them out for free.

The firm is an example of a local apparel company that has quickly shifted operations to produce fabric masks, joining the national effort to combat the spread of Covid-19.

Meiko Tailor's efforts could see it being classified as an essential service, which means it can continue running during the nationwide suspension of non-essential services from tomorrow to May 4, wrote Ms Sim Ann, Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information and for Culture, Community and Youth, in a Facebook post on Saturday.

"I know that others in the garment industry have started similar projects. If your company is among them, you could be deemed as providing essential services," said Ms Sim, who is an MP for Holland-Bukit Timah GRC.

The Textile and Fashion Federation (Singapore) said companies that wish to produce masks at their premises during the suspension period may register their details at bit.ly/mask4sg

No further application at GoBusiness is needed, as the federation will coordinate with Enterprise Singapore and the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

"Meanwhile, safe distancing measures must be put in place and companies who had signed up to produce masks to operate their work space during the suspension period shall only produce masks," the federation said.

ASYMPTOMATIC

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Friday last week that the Government would no longer discourage people who are well from wearing masks because of proof that people can be infected but not show any symptoms. He also announced that reusable masks would be distributed to all households.

Ms Adele Chung, who handles overall marketing operations for Meiko Tailor and is the daughter of master tailor Chung Chi Kwong, said the mask-making effort started out as something just for employees and family members.

But since Friday's announcement, the company has been spending its days ramping up its mask-making efforts to give them to those who need them, at no cost.

Another bespoke tailor, CYC, is on a similar drive, with managing director, Mrs Fong Loo Fern, saying the company aims to provide 200,000 reusable masks to foreign workers here.

coronavirus