When mask wearing became compulsory to curb the spread of Covid-19, Temasek Foundation distributed two free, antimicrobial reusable masks last June. 

With the pandemic stretching, Temasek did another two rounds of reusable masks distributions — once in September and again in November.

The foundation announced on Facebook that there will be a fourth distribution taking place in March and April. It won’t just be reusable masks that will be distributed — zero-alcohol hand sanitiser will be given out too.

Like the first round of hand sanitiser distribution in March 2020, the #BYOBclean initiative requires Singapore residents to bring their own bottle to designated points to collect the sanitiser. They must also bring along their Singapore Power (SP) utility bills. Both the paper bills and e-bills will contain a special QR code and a bill number, which can be keyed into the machine for collection.

Once this has been confirmed, #BYOB bottle stickers will be generated and residents will be able to collect the sanitisers from the machines.

Screenshot from Temasek Foundation’s website

In a Facebook post from Friday (Feb 19), Temasek chief executive Ho Ching also announced that some mask vending machines across the island have been restocked with a new navy-blue mask by Swiss hygiene company Livinguard, which can be collected by Singapore residents from March 1.

The new two-layer mask is made of a water-repellent antimicrobial layer on its outside, and an inner layer with an antibacterial treatment to kill bacteria from one’s saliva, said Ms Ho.

It does not have to be washed after daily use and could instead be washed once to twice a week, she added. With up to 30 washes, the mask can be used daily for around six to seven months, she said. After that, it could still double up as an “outer mask”, providing an extra seal of protection for those who wish to wear another mask on top of their surgical or reusable one. 

Ms Ho said this would offer better protection if there is an outbreak of more infectious variants from the UK, South Africa or Brazil.

The chin section of the mask is slightly elastic to provide a better fit and air seal. Its sizing differs from the Proshield masks given out in the previous mask distribution exercise in November.

Ms Ho advised people to re-check their mask sizes before collection as there will be no exchange or refunds due to hygiene reasons.

Text: Seow Kai Lun/AsiaOne, Cheryl Tan/The Straits Times