Despite concerns of a rush at masks collection points, the first day of the free mask distribution went off without a hitch. This followed the government’s announcement last week that all 1.3 million households in Singapore would be given a pack of four masks each, amid reports of shops running out of stocks.
The distribution of masks began on Saturday and will end on 9 Feb.
On this, the Singapore Armed Forces had informed through its Facebook on Saturday that they have finished packing 5.2 million masks and would be delivering them to the respective distribution centers.
After a tour of the preparations at the People’s Association (PA) headquarters in Jalan Besar on Friday, Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing informed reporters that collection timings will be staggered over the whole of next week. The distribution will be done at 89 community centers and 654 residential centers that will be mobilized for this purpose across the island.
Some acknowledged and appreciated the government’s initiative in supplying the free masks. They went on to praise the government’s job of distributing the masks to the public.
Wilfred Fong, a receiver of the masks, comments that the entire collection process took less than 5 minutes. He adds that the distribution of masks was well organized in terms of collection point, area and time. He thanked all parties that were involved.
Separately, there were residents who were ignorant of the collection times and the residential centers that would be handing out the government’s free masks. Some even asked how they can find out where are the collection points, while others noted that they went to the collection area only to be informed that the masks will be distributed on 3 February.
The questions posed were immediately answered as other caring netizens stepped forward to provide the information they needed. Netizens inserted links to “Mask Go Where” an official government site that tracks the distribution of masks at the residential and community centers.
Some online users had their own suggestions. To ensure the efficiency of distribution, some online users asked for the usage of Sing Post to deliver the masks.
Surely, some were unhappy. One user questioned why the hullabaloo about packing 4 masks. Instead, by giving a box to a household, the whole packing problem could have been avoided.
Tan Hwee Siang agrees with the above comment. He writes, “Well said, why not give one box to every household. They are families with more than 4 persons. And there are old people who were inconvenienced to find their way to the distribution centers.
Being aggrieved, Tan writes further noting that retailers are making huge profits by selling the masks at high prices. He said that had the government taken pre-emptive actions, like fixing the prices and limiting the purchase for each household and individual, this situation could have been avoided.