How to collect your free surgical, N95 masks from Thursday

Each household can collect 50 medical-grade surgical masks and 25 N95 respirator masks, which will be packed in boxes. ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

SINGAPORE - From Thursday (Aug 26), Singapore residents can collect free masks at 15 CapitaLand malls and selected supermarkets islandwide.

The month-long collection exercise is the fifth by Temasek Foundation and will be the first time medical-grade disposable masks are being distributed.

The foundation said this is in view of more infectious Covid-19 variants that have emerged.

There are more than 130 collection points. People can check this website for the location nearest to them, collection hours and current stock levels.

Each household can collect 50 medical-grade surgical masks and 25 N95 respirator masks, which will be packed in boxes.

Eleven of the 15 participating CapitaLand malls will offer digital queue systems so that shoppers can join the queue virtually and check the queue length. These malls include Bukit Panjang Plaza, Junction 8 and Plaza Singapura.

When the collection drive kicks off, people can go to this website and select the "Mask collection" option. They will be asked to enter their mobile phone number and will receive updates via SMS when it is their turn to collect the masks.

The masks can also be collected at Jewel Changi Airport's concierge counter on Level 1.

A CapitaLand spokesman said that more than 500 members of its staff will be volunteering to help the public with mask collection. The masks can be collected at the customer service counters of the malls from 11am to 8pm.

Masks can also be collected at selected Sheng Siong, Prime, Cold Storage and Giant supermarkets, and all nine FairPrice Xtra outlets.

Ahead of the collection exercise which begins on Thursday, supermarkets have been busy taking delivery of the masks and making other preparations.

FairPrice said it has put in place floor markings at checkout queues, in-store posters and announcements to remind customers to maintain safe distancing. Shoppers can also pick up their masks from express checkout counters at any of the 13 participating Cold Storage outlets and customer service counters at five Giant outlets.

DFI Retail Group, which manages both Cold Storage and Giant, said it has prepared signs to redirect customers in the event that the masks have been fully redeemed.

Each household can collect 50 medical-grade surgical masks and 25 N95 respirator masks, which will be packed in boxes. ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

In a statement last week, Temasek Foundation said medical-grade masks can be used alone or as an added layer of protection on top of reusable masks.

It added: "These high quality masks help suppress infection rates by reducing the level of viral loads being emitted or breathed in."

For instance, it is recommended that those with flu-like symptoms wear a surgical mask to visit the doctor.

Both surgical and N95 masks have 95 per cent particle filtration efficiency or better, which means they can filter out at least 95 per cent of particles between 0.1 and 0.3 microns in size. The Covid-19 virus is about 0.1 microns in size.

Residents are reminded to have their physical or electronic SP Group residential utility bill or their account numbers ready when they visit the collection points.

They can help their friends and neighbours collect the masks, as long as they have their SP residential bills or their account numbers.

SPH Brightcove Video
Find out how efficient your reusable mask is as six reusable and three disposable masks go through a particle filtration efficiency test.
SPH Brightcove Video
What is a higher filtration capability? Which masks should be avoided? Do you need to wear two masks? Here are some things to know about choosing a good mask.

However, those who deprive others of collecting their masks by fraudulently obtaining and misusing their personal information will be dealt with by the law, said the foundation.

It also gave the assurance that each collection point has a steady supply of masks and is restocked when needed.

"Although a collection point may run out temporarily, there is sufficient stock available, and residents can either visit the next nearest collection point or come back on another day."

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.