SINGAPORE - Some residents have taken to social media to appeal for replacement leaflets from Temasek Foundation to redeem the free oximeter it is distributing, after discarding the one they had received in the mail.
They said they had thrown theirs out by mistake, and missed the instructions which say it must be used to claim the digital device that measures blood oxygen levels.
Writing on Temasek Foundation's Facebook page, one Idy Chew said: "I accidentally threw away the leaflet thinking it's just info for us to collect without reading the red label at the bottom to keep it for redemption."
The writer hopes there is a way to redeem for "my family other than presenting leaflet".
Facebook user Wendy Zheng made a similar appeal under the same post.
"I'm living in an old estate and there are a lot of old people here. Saw some of the leaflets being thrown near the mailbox."
The writer said several seniors had to be stopped from throwing away the leaflet.
"What can be done if they really throw away the leaflet and want to collect the oximeter? Can use IC to scan?" the writer added.
Several others admitted they did not read the instructions.
But Reddit user u/UtilityCurve commented in a discussion post on the issue that the leaflets do not look like "spam mail".
"It is a pretty thick booklet that you won't miss out or throw away by accident."
The leaflet, which has some instructions in the four main languages, also spells out in a bright red box in English - Keep this leaflet safely with your oximeter for reference.
Aside from information on where to collect the device, the leaflet also contains instructions on how to use the oximeter. It also carries a barcode to track when the device has been collected.
Temasek Foundation, in replies to Facebook users, said it is unable to provide another leaflet.
The foundation had announced on June 24 that it was giving the oximeter as a result of the emergence of new and more infectious Covid-19 variants.
It noted that the Covid-19 virus can cause blood oxygen levels to drop to dangerously low levels, even when there are no other symptoms.
The leaflets were distributed via letter boxes between June 28 and July 3, with collection of the devices slated for July 5 to Aug 5 at more than 300 FairPrice, Sheng Siong, Giant, Cold Storage, Watsons, Unity and Guardian outlets.
Temasek Foundation told The Straits Times on Friday (July 2) that the leaflets allow the participating outlets to scan the bar code of each redemption tab to keep track of the number of oximeters distributed.
It added that residents are largely familiar with receiving leaflets for collection as they were also used for the distribution of hand sanitiser to every Singapore household in March last year.
"Residents in chat groups and online forums also remind each other to watch out and keep the leaflets," they added.
"The leaflets are not unique to each household. If residents have an oximeter or do not need one, they can pass on their leaflet to others to collect."
Associate Professor Lawrence Loh from the National University of Singapore Business School said: "I can see how people would mistake the leaflet for an advertisement brochure. Though the efforts are well meaning, it is important that the initiative comes through by allowing people to collect the product easily."
Prof Loh said he almost overlooked the leaflet himself. He suggests Temasek Foundation attach a cover letter to the leaflet.
Temasek Foundation said it would take in public feedback for future distributions.
"The leaflet is a simple way for people to collect, and also for retail partners to join us in supporting the distribution," it added.