With the Novel Coronavirus from Wuhan still looming over our shores, many are scrambling to stock up on surgical face masks. Whilst many pharmacies and shops are currently out of stock, the Ministry of Health says that they are working with retailers to push out these surgical face masks and the supply is sufficient if we use them sensibly and responsibly. Considering the ‘new normal’ situation, many are also looking for long-term alternatives and opting for reusable face masks. Here is the lowdown on the different types of masks available, each of their efficiency in combating this virus, and where to purchase them.
Surgical Face Masks
The most commonplace face mask might very well prove effective in limiting the spread of the Wuhan Coronavirus. It can help you not contract or pass on respiratory symptoms such as a cough or runny nose. This mask is meant to help block large-particle droplets and splatter from reaching the wearer's mouth and nose as well as reduce exposure of the wearer's saliva and respiratory secretions to others.
Experts say that the N95 masks are not necessary to be worn to avoid the spread of this virus. Not only are they uncomfortable, but they are also proven to be ineffective in preventing the spread of respiratory symptoms. That being said, surgical marks only come in a standard size and are usually too big for the little ones. Our top pick is the AIR+, the world's first smart mask, N95-class protection, which features an ergonomic mask that pairs with an attachable ventilator for enhanced comfort. These masks come in 3 sizes and the smallest size is great for kids!
Reusable Fabric/Cloth Masks
Other than the above 2 types of disposable masks, some have opted to purchase fabric/cloth masks that are reusable, washable, breathable, and come in varied designs and sizes for both adults and kids. There are many brands in the market. We've listed the top places to purchase them from local retailers below!
PPM Medical - call to request a quote.
Pharmex Healthcare - all in stock online.
FairPrice Supermarkets & Unity Pharmacy
CYC Tailor - with filter insert!
Gill Mask - with a respirator! Available for adults and kids.
Era Ora - buy one mask and another will be donated to charities in Asia.
Maison Q - featuring their Masks for Good initiative that contributes to artisans and local Singapore community.
Chubby Chubby - pretty designs.
Oh Happy Fry - sunhats with face shields too!
3M Singapore - available on Lazada.
I Want The Missing Piece - reversible face masks available with any purchase.
Oeteo - simple, white masks.
ShieldMask+ - 4 layer protection.
1. Mask up!
2. Wash your hands frequently and with soap.
3. Cover nose with tissue when sneezing and dispose properly.
4. Avoid contact with live animals including poultry and birds at wet markets.
5. Avoid consumption of raw and undercooked meats.
6. Avoid people with flu-like symptoms.
Ministry of Health Singapore - Updates on the Wuhan Coronavirus
gov.sg - How is Singapore Limiting the Spread of the Wuhan Coronavirus?
Ministry of Education Singapore - FAQs on the virus and its effects on schools in Singapore
PRC National Health Commission - Updates from China on the virus
World Health Organisation - Worldwide updates on the virus