PM Lee launches two exercises to distribute items to help people cope with the haze

People's Association WeCare PAcks being distributed to seniors at an activity centre in Ang Mo Kio.
People's Association WeCare PAcks being distributed to seniors at an activity centre in Ang Mo Kio.ST PHOTO: AUDREY TAN

SINGAPORE - Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Wednesday evening kicked off two exercises to distribute items that will help people here to better cope with the haze.

As guest-of-honour at the COMNET@ Teck Ghee Senior Activity Centre in Ang Mo Kio, he distributed sets of masks to about 100 seniors at the centre.

The AIR+ Smart Masks, which can be fitted with a micro ventilator that helps with air ventilation, are innovations of homegrown engineering company ST Engineering.

The seniors, all aged above 60, were guided on the correct way to wear the mask, which can filter harmful PM2.5 pollutant particles from the air.

About 29,000 masks and 6,000 micro ventilators will be distributed at the 60 senior activity centres across Singapore by the weekend.

This is a $300,000 initiative of Temasek Cares and ST Engineering.

Mr Richard Magnus, chairman of Temasek Cares, said: "The haze is at unhealthy levels. Our senior citizens are especially vulnerable. These locally-designed masks and ventilators will help them."

At the event Mr Lee also kickstarted the nationwide distribution of the People's Association (PA) WeCare PAcks, each of which has one N95 mask, instant noodles and beverages, canned food and Vitamin C tablets.

The items were donated by FairPrice Foundation and the local business community.

In all, about 30,000 vulnerable households comprising seniors, and residents with medical conditions who are living alone, will benefit from the distribution.

PA chief executive director Ang Hak Seng said the packs will help seniors, especially those suffering from respiratory difficulties, by reducing the need to venture out to buy food in the haze. The distribution of the WeCare PAcks is expected to be completed within a week, with the bulk of the households receiving them by this weekend, he added.