Singapore

Reusable masks, hand sanitiser to be distributed from next month

Each Singapore household will soon be able to collect reusable masks and an alcohol-free hand sanitiser from next month and April respectively, in yet another nationwide distribution by Temasek Foundation.

Some mask vending machines across the island have been restocked with a new navy blue mask by Swiss hygiene company Livinguard, and residents can collect it from Monday, said Temasek chief executive Ho Ching in a Facebook post last Friday.

The collection exercise will last for two weeks.

The new two-layer mask is made of a water-repellent antimicrobial layer on the outside, and an inner layer with an antibacterial treatment to kill bacteria from one's saliva, said Ms Ho.

It does not need daily washing and could instead be washed once or twice a week, she added.

With up to 30 washes, the mask can be used daily for six to seven months. After that, it could still double up as an outer mask, providing an extra seal of protection for those who wish to wear another mask on top of their surgical or reusable one.

BETTER PROTECTION

Ms Ho said this would offer better protection if there is an outbreak of more infectious variants of the coronavirus from Britain, South Africa or Brazil.

The chin section of the mask is slightly elastic to provide a better fit and air seal.

Its sizing differs from the Proshield masks given out during the previous distribution exercise last November.

Ms Ho advised people to re-check their sizes before collection as there will be no exchange or refund - for hygiene reasons.

Mask vending machines at 20 community centres have been moved to adjacent Housing Board blocks as the community centres are being used for the roll-out of nationwide vaccinations, added Ms Ho.

Separately, Temasek Foundation will give 500ml of alcohol-free hand sanitiser from local company Klenco to each household, with distribution starting in mid-April as part of its second nationwide distribution drive.

Residents must bring their own recycled bottles, such as plastic or shampoo bottles, to collect the hand sanitiser from vending machines, along with their Singapore Power utility bills from next month and April.

coronavirus