As you know, due to growing evidence that people can spread Covid-19 without showing symptoms and the increasing number of locally-transmitted infections, the Singapore government said it is now no longer discouraging the use of masks among those who are well.
Angry Singaporeans: Eh, what is this? First, they said don’t wear masks now they’re saying you should wear them? Next, they’ll be telling us to make out with strangers to stop the coronavirus from spreading.
I know you’re upset, but did I mention that the government will be giving out one reusable mask to each Singaporean for free?
Calm Singapore: Free ah? Oh ok ok I take back my harsh words. Please give me my free mask.
But how or where do we get this free mask from? Well, here are all the details you need to know about the collection.
Everything About the Collection of Free Reusable Masks for S’pore Residents You Need to Know
In a Facebook post on 3 April, Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing announced that all Singapore residents with a household address will be able to collect one reusable mask each for free.
The collection will be held at CCs and RCs around the country, similar to the previous mask collection drive.
On weekdays, the CCs and RCs will be open from 3pm to 9pm.
On weekends, they’ll be open from 10am to 9pm.
Singaporeans can also collect the masks on behalf of their family members by bringing along their identification cards or documents (passports will not be accepted because it does not contain your registered home address).
These reusable masks should be washed and dried properly after use, of course.
If you’re not sure which CC or RC to go to, you could head over to maskgowhere.gov.sg to find out. You just need to know what your postal code is.
Here are the details again, in case you missed them:
Date: 5-12 Apr
Time: 10am onwards
Weekdays: 3pm – 9pm daily
Weekends & PH: 10am – 9pm
Location: CCs & RCs
If you are unable to collect the masks due to QO or SHN, please contact the Mask Distribution hotline (1800-333-999). The hotline is open daily from 9am to 9pm.
If you’re expecting huge crowds like the kind you saw in supermarkets after Malaysia announced a lockdown, don’t worry; the first day (at least in the first part of the day), which is today, went better than expected.
For one, safe distancing measures were in place for people in the queues, and temperature-taking was done before residents could enter the premises.
Moreover, most of the residents who turned up were collecting the masks on behalf of their household members, including domestic helpers.
As Minister Chan said, “This is highly encouraged to minimise the number of people at each location.”
Plus, the collection was pretty smooth – residents have been able to collect their masks in about 10 minutes, reported The Straits Times.
Faster than in-pro-ing during ICT.
Minister Chan was also encouraged by the manner in which residents went about the collection:
“Heartened to see everyone going about the collection calmly. There was no rush. Our volunteers and colleagues were also in good spirits,” he wrote.
It is quite a pleasant surprise that we haven’t seen a stampede of the kind we see in South African safaris. Maybe Singaporeans are capable of patience and composure too.
But why are authorities suddenly asking Singaporeans to wear masks after discouraging its use for so long?
Well, there are two main reasons:
There’s increasing evidence that people can transmit Covid-19 to others before they experience symptoms (presymptomatic) or even when they don’t experience symptoms at all (asymptomatic).
This is why even America is changing its view on wearing face masks because of these silent, ‘hidden’ carriers.
A recent study in Singapore, for example, showed that at least 10 people got the coronavirus from those without symptoms.
When asked about the U-turn on wearing masks, Minister of National Development Lawrence Wong said that there is also a community spread in Singapore that we did not experience before.
This explains why we’re seeing a surge in unlinked, locally-transmitted infections.
If anything, here’s a sentence to sum it all up: COVID-19 is so new, the situation is always fluid.
I won’t be surprised if Neo suddenly installs an anti-virus and the world would be better again.
But Why Reusable Masks?
Well, the truth is that there’s still a need to conserve surgical masks for the healthcare workers who need them more.
While it may not offer as much protection as a surgical mask, wearing a reusable mask can provide some basic protection for those who have to leave their homes for essential trips.
So, please do not stockpile surgical masks because there are people out there who need it more.
All we have to do is to stay at home as much as possible and wear these masks when we have to go out for essential purposes.
Reader: It’s essential for me to have three KTV sessions a week but all the KTV venues are closed
Well, this circuit breaker is certainly going to be tough on everyone, but it’ a small price to pay to ensure our safety and the safety of our family members and fellow Singaporeans.
So, remember to collect your mask before 12 April and check out maskgowhere.gov.sg if you need more details.