Free masks from Temasek Foundation not available yet
Temasek Foundation has clarified that there was no mask distribution exercise yesterday after a photo of a banner advertising the giving out of masks made its rounds online.
Temasek chief executive Ho Ching said in a Facebook post that the foundation is working with CapitaLand malls and participating supermarkets to trial the exercise where masks will be distributed when individuals show their Singapore Power bills.
The photo of the banner is from a pilot trial and it is "not true that public collection starts on Aug 4", she said.
The free collection was intended to begin after National Day but has since been rescheduled to the end of the month.
In this new exercise, each household will be entitled to 50 pieces of medical-grade surgical masks and 25 pieces of N95 respirator masks.
The distribution could be pushed back to September should there be any outstanding back-end issues that need more time to be resolved, said Ms Ho.
She said in her Facebook post that Temasek Foundation is giving out free masks as the Delta variant is twice as contagious as previous Covid-19 variants.
"With an infectivity of five to six others for each Covid-19 patient, we need 80 per cent of the population to wear 80 per cent effective masks or better to squeeze down the infection numbers," she explained.
In comparison, reusable double-layer masks as well as many of the pleated disposable masks can offer protection of about only 80 per cent, said Ms Ho.
"With the medical-grade surgical and N95 masks with effectiveness of 95 per cent or better, we have an additional option for better protection,"said Ms Ho.
She added that a medical-grade surgical mask should be worn by those with flu-like symptoms or on visits to the hospital or a nursing home.
N95 masks are meant to be used if a person has tested positive on an antigen rapid test kit.