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Singapore – Each Singapore household will be able to collect reusable masks from March, and an alcohol-free hand sanitiser from April, as part of another nationwide distribution by Temasek Foundation.

Temasek chief executive Ho Ching said in a Facebook post on Friday (Feb 19) that the fourth round of the #StayMasked initiative will begin on March 1. Mask vending machines are being restocked to be ready for testing next week, said Mdm Ho.

The collection exercise will run for two weeks. “Like before, we cover Singaporean and non-Singaporean residents, as no one is safe till everyone is safe,” said Mdm Ho.

She noted that the new navy-blue masks by the Swiss hygiene company, Livinguard, would have a different sizing chart than the previous ProShield brand. “So do recheck your mask size before collecting or ordering, as no exchange or refund will be allowed for hygiene reasons,” said Mdm Ho.

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The masks would also have an elastic “chin” for a better fit and could be used daily for six to seven months.

The mask is treated on both the inside and outside layers. The antibacterial treatment on the inner layer kills any bacteria from our saliva, explained Mdm Ho. She noted that there is no need to wash the mask every day but only once or twice a week.

After the recommended 30 washes or six to seven months of use, the mask can still be used as an ordinary two-layer mask or as an outer layer when using two masks, noted Mdm Ho.

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“For instance, if there should be an outbreak of the more infectious variants from the UK, South Africa or Brazil, we should use a double mask for extra protection,” she explained.

In mid-April, Temasek Foundation will be providing 500ml of alcohol-free hand sanitisers to each household. People are requested to use their Singapore Power bill and bring their own bottles to collect the sanitiser.

Mdm Ho highlighted that the March and April Singapore Power bills would have a special QR code containing the household’s SP Bill number. The QR code would be scanned at the vending machines to begin the collection process. The SP Bill number can also be manually encoded to collect the sanitiser.

The process would allow households to collect their sanitisers in a “hassle-free” manner.

In a follow-up post on Monday (Feb 22), Mdm Ho thanked 100 members of the public who have signed up to be service ambassadors. The volunteers joined Temasek Foundation staff to support the fourth distribution of face masks.

“Every mask distribution sees these tireless and dedicated folks having to soak their feet when they get home after standing all day,” said Mdm Ho.

“Yet others would make their rounds at 3 am to ensure the machines are loaded up in the wee hours of the night and working well the next morning.”

Mdm Ho also thanked the police, especially the neighbourhood police team for responding quickly to resolve any ground issues such as investigating incidents of wrongful use of ID data.

“What a year it has been for these tireless unsung heroes, always there to help residents in need,” she added./TISG

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Read related: Woman allegedly redeems 460 reusable face masks using illegally obtained personal information

Woman allegedly redeems 460 reusable face masks using illegally obtained personal information

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