SINGAPORE — The government assured Singaporeans on Tuesday (18 May) that there are enough face mask supplies in Singapore after it announced that new guidelines will be issued on the use of masks with good filtration capability.
Speaking at a virtual media conference, co-chair of the multi-ministerial taskforce (MTF) on COVID-19 Gan Kim Yong said, “I would assure Singaporeans there's no need to panic, no need to rush to buy additional masks, stock up masks. Just buy what you need and the supplies will continue and we will ensure that there's sufficient supply for all of us.”
Gan said since the beginning of the pandemic last year, the Ministry of Trade and Industry has helped to facilitate higher mask production capacity in Singapore. In addition, the government is also looking at increasing imports of surgical masks, the Trade and Industry Minister added.
His comment comes after the MTF said the Ministry of Health (MOH) will recommend the use of good quality masks such as those having at least 95 per cent bacterial filtration efficiency.
"Mask use continues to be one of the key public health strategies in preventing disease by reducing the expulsion and transmission of droplets. The recent clusters suggest a higher level of transmission, likely attributed to new virus variants," the MOH said in a media release.
Masks with better protection, such as those with better filtration efficiency, will help to mitigate the increased risks of transmission and infection, MOH added.
Lawrence Wong, co-chair of the MTF, said at the conference that Singapore’s mask supplies are in a “much better position” now than a year ago. He also said there is no need to rush to obtain masks and that they are available in the shops.
In addition, the reusable masks that were distributed by People’s Association and Temasek Foundation meet the standards of higher filtration effectiveness, the Finance Minister said.
“So whether it is one of these reusable masks or surgical masks, the supplies are available and we will encourage everyone to wear a good quality mask when you go out,” he added.
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