SINGAPORE - Singapore households can register to collect a bottle of StayWell mouth gargle from Monday (Nov 15) till Dec 10.
The povidone-iodine (PVP-I) gargle, which kills germs that cause sore throat, will be distributed under Temasek Foundation's Stay Prepared initiative, which aims to reduce the spread of illnesses.
Interested households can book a slot to collect a 250ml bottle of the gargle and a 25ml measuring cup at this website.
Close to 23,000 households have already done so within a day of registration opening, Temasek Foundation said on Tuesday.
Some residents experienced difficulties registering online due to heavy traffic in the first few hours after registration opened, but this has been resolved, the spokesman added.
Registered households can collect the gargle at their preferred collection points from Nov 22 to Dec 12, subject to availability.
Should demand exceed expectations, a second round of self-collection may take place after the Chinese New Year period next February, said Temasek Foundation.
This latest initiative by the foundation follows its distributions of masks, hand sanitiser and oximeters over the past 18 months.
Residents may gargle two to four times a day when they feel a sore throat is about to develop, or for general oral hygiene.
The PVP-I gargle, a fast-acting brown liquid against pathogens, is formulated for gargling and should not be swallowed.
Evidence from multiple studies has shown that PVP-I can interrupt the attachment of Sars-CoV-2 - the virus that causes Covid-19 - to oral and nasopharyngeal tissues and lower the amount of viral particles in saliva and respiratory droplets.
Temasek Foundation said the StayWell mouth gargle should not be resold, and that it strongly discouraged members of the public from buying any of the gargle collected from this exercise.
As of Tuesday, there were a handful of listings of a similar mouth gargle that Temasek Foundation has been distributing to households being sold on platforms like Carousell, with prices between $5 and $15.
"Residents should only register and self-collect mouth gargle for their household address," said the spokesman.
"If they already have or do not need more, residents can also pass on their mouth gargle to others."
Temasek Foundation cautioned that there are PVP-I liquid disinfectants available on the market that are used to disinfect wounds or skin surfaces. These should not be used as a gargle, as they may contain other disinfectants or have higher concentrations of PVP-I.