Mask stockpile replenished

Military support: Army personnel preparing face masks at SAFTI Military Institute, before distributing them around the country. — Reuters

THE national stockpile of surgical and N95 masks is being replenished on multiple fronts even as healthcare workers draw down on the supplies.

Aside from a warehouse in Tuas that stores already procured masks, the Government is working closely with private sector manufacturers and logistics companies to find and release masks to those who need them most, such as hospitals and clinics, say industry players.

Last month, the Ministry of Health (MOH) directed that masks be distributed to private healthcare practitioners, many of whom had not been able to secure any masks from their regular suppliers.

With traditional source places such as China and Taiwan now banning the export of masks, firms are looking for alternative sources in Malaysia, India and Europe.

Among them is Singapore firm Wellchem Pharmaceuticals, which supplies masks to hospitals here.

Its director, Winthrop Wong, said his manufacturer, which is based in a South-east Asian country, managed to ramp up production by three to four times. Before the virus outbreak, Wong used to order one million masks a month.

Meanwhile, an estimated 1.6 million masks unclaimed by Singapore households should be returned to the national stockpile, given that only two-thirds of all households here collected their free masks by the end of last month.

It is not known how many masks are in the stockpile. The Ministry of Trade and Industry, which oversees it, did not reply to queries.

Singapore currently does not have any factories producing surgical masks, after a previous venture in Woodlands set up by a group of doctors and businessmen failed.

But a 3M plant – an American firm – in Tuas makes N95 respirators.

According to the MOH website, N95 respirators are worn by healthcare workers dealing with infectious diseases, as these workers come into close contact with patients and their bodily fluids. — The Straits Times/ANN

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 46
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights

masks , coronavirus


Next In Regional

ByteDance lays off hundreds after China’s tutoring crackdown
Tencent resumes new user sign-ups on WeChat after ‘security upgrade’ last week
China’s crackdown on gaming: state newspaper calls for higher taxes but also highlights soft power gains
China’s livestreaming video market may face tougher regulation amid spread of ‘vulgar content’
China launches campaign against ‘fake news’ as Beijing seeks to purify online information, targeting social media
PM: SOP relaxations for the fully vaccinated to be announced within two days
Health DG: Conditional approval granted for Moderna Covid-19 vaccine
Covid-19: New daily high of 20,596 cases bring total to 1,203,706
Honda vehicle sales for May-July period declines 52% year-on-year
Maybank Islamic offers convenient online sign-up for Zest-i account

Stories You'll Enjoy