Singapore restarts local production of surgical face masks

SINGAPORE has restarted local production of surgical face masks since mid-February and is "on track" to meet all its healthcare workers' needs in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, according to Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing.

"We've arrived at a point where we're quite confident of taking care of our medical workers in Singapore," he said in a Zoom interview with local reporters.

Mr Chan also said the government will again hand out free face masks in June to all Singaporeans and residents. The new cloth masks to be given this time are an improved version of the cloth mask – and they will be distributed not only by volunteers, but also vending machines, according to him.

Mr Chan said Singapore has continued to improve on the quality of N95 and cloth face masks and to ramp up production to meet domestic demand – as well as to contribute to the national stockpile in case of another spike in Covid-19 infections.

He said that Singapore at the same time has continued to search for and diversify the foreign supply of face masks, even though it has become more challenging to depend on imports in the current crisis.