SINGAPORE - The Government will be distributing one million face masks to private clinics, including general practitioners (GPs) and specialists, in response to concerns they have expressed over supply.
Health Minister Gan Kim Yong announced this at a press conference on Wednesday (Feb 12), where three more cases of the coronavirus were confirmed, bringing the total number here to 50.
Mr Gan thanked front-line healthcare workers, highlighting GPs who "play a critical role in detecting and managing out patients".
"We'll continue to support our private doctors, including specialists," he said, adding that some have provided feedback that they were concerned about the supply of masks, which have been in high demand since Singapore confirmed its first case of the virus in January.
"I'd like to take this opportunity to assure them that they'll get the supplies they need because they're part of our team," said Mr Gan.
The Health Ministry’s director of medical services, Associate Professor Kenneth Mak, stressed at the briefing that regular hand washing with soap is more important than wearing a face mask as the virus spreads through droplets that can land on surfaces.
People should also be aware of objects that they commonly touch, such as their mobile phones, he said.
With several local cases now linked to places where people congregate, such as churches, Prof Mak advised members of congregations to monitor themselves, and if they are unwell, to wear a mask and see a doctor.