Coronavirus: Two companies giving out face masks and hand sanitisers to 5,000 senior citizens

Staff from Innotrek and Future Ready teaching senior citizens good hygiene practices at 104 Bedok North Street 4 on Feb 10, 2020. ST PHOTO: JOEL CHAN

SINGAPORE - More than 5,000 senior citizens will receive free face masks and hand sanitisers, which have been supplied by two private companies.

Outdoor camp operators Innotrek and FutuReady Asia have prepared one face mask and a bottle of hand sanitiser for each senior citizen.

Distribution began on Monday (Feb 10),with non-governmental and grassroots organisations facilitating the outreach.

Among the first to receive the masks and sanitisers was a group of around 70 elderly citizens in Fengshan. They also listened to a quick presentation on hygiene practices in lieu of their usual morning exercise programme conducted by Bethesda Care Services.

Mr Delane Lim, the founder of FutuReady Asia, said the idea was sparked by "anger"at profiteers who were jacking up prices of the face masks and hand sanitisers.

Some residents were also not aware that they should not wear masks unless they are sick, he added.

"But it's a form of reassurance to have one on hand. So we decided to reach out to the elderly to tell them when to wear masks and when to use hand sanitisers," said Mr Lim.

Mr Tony Tan, the managing director of Innotrek, said it was a good way for him and his staff to help the community.

"Nothing much is happening for our businesses at this point in time, so we might as well come out and do something good," said Mr Tan, explaining that schools have cancelled their camps and other activities in light of the ongoing coronavirus situation.

Fengshan resident Catherine Poon, 65, said the talk by volunteers from the two companies reinforced the message on appropriate hygiene measures.

Th retired pre-school teacher especially appreciated the alcohol-based sanitiser provided, as it is easier to use than the gel-based ones she has been using since before the virus outbreak.

She added: "I don't believe in going to join the long queues (for the sanitisers). It's worse to gather in big groups."

Distribution will continue every day for the next two weeks in other areas like MacPherson and Yishun. Interested individuals who wish to volunteer can e-mail with their names and contact information.

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