More free masks: Collection from vending machines start Jan 10

The masks will come in new sizes, according to information printed on the latest machines.
PHOTO: The Straits Times/Kua Chee Siong

SINGAPORE - New mask distribution machines are being installed islandwide ahead of Temasek Foundation's sixth distribution exercise next month to protect residents against Covid-19.

Residents can claim their free masks from the vending machines from Jan 10 to 23.

The masks will come in new sizes, according to information printed on the latest machines.

When contacted by The Straits Times, Temasek Foundation said it will provide more details of the upcoming distribution next week.

The foundation has distributed a variety of mask types in previous distribution drives, from disposable surgical masks to reusable ones.


In the most recent exercise from Aug 26 to Sept 26, nearly 1.13 million households collected 25 N95 respirator masks and a box of 50 medical-grade surgical masks each for free.

The exercise had some 130 collection points islandwide, including 15 CapitaLand malls and selected supermarkets.

Ms Ho Ching, chief executive of Temasek at the time, said on Facebook in August that the surgical masks had a 95 per cent filtration efficiency or better, and should be worn by those with flu-like symptoms or on visits to a hospital or a nursing home.

The N95 masks were to be worn for high-risk jobs such as looking after Covid-19 patients, or if a person has tested positive on an antigen rapid test kit, she added.

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Ms Ho, who is now on the Temasek Trust board of directors since stepping down as Temasek CEO on Oct 1, said: "With the medical-grade surgical and N95 masks... we have an additional option for better protection."

In March, Temasek issued reusable masks made by Livinguard that were said to be 99.75 per cent effective in reducing bacteria on the inside surface of the mask.

The mask featured a water-repellent antimicrobial layer on the outside and an antibacterial treatment of the inner layer that kills bacteria from the wearer's saliva.

This article was first published in The Straits TimesPermission required for reproduction.

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