Activist Gilbert Goh and his team today (14 Apr) sent 5,000 additional masks for the use of migrant workers residing in the Westlite Woodlands dormitory.
Mr Goh in a Facebook post today said that today’s batch makes up the second one delivered by him and his team to the dormitory. They previously sent an initial 5,000 masks in the first batch.
The activist added that he and his team will be sending 150 meals to Westlite Woodlands tonight, courtesy of local celebrity chef KF Seetoh.
In addition to the second batch of masks, Mr Goh and his team this afternoon had also sent “some crackers” or snacks for migrant workers living in the dormitory.
According to Mr Goh, he has received several requests for support of masks supply and distribution for migrant workers.
While infectious diseases expert Leong Hoe Nam opined that surgical masks — such as those distributed by Mr Goh and his team at Westlite Woodlands today — can be reused for up to four or five days subject to certain conditions, TOC understands that a number of migrant workers only have one mask each which they end up reusing on a daily basis for a longer period.
Doing so may have contributed to the rapid spread of COVID-19 among those residing in dormitories.
Separately, non-government organisation Migrant Workers’ Centre (MWC) last Sat distributed 200,000 reusable masks to migrant workers living in dormitories islandwide.
MWC in a Facebook post also said that it has begun “mixing, bottling and packaging hand sanitizer solution into 350,000 500ml bottles” using concentrate and equipment provided by Temasek Foundation.
“With the support garnered from our public fund-raising campaign “Migrants We Care”, we will be procuring 350,000 bath soap bars, which we hope to distribute together with our hand-sanitizers over the next two weeks,” said MWC.
Reusable masks made of cotton provide between 50 and 60 per cent of filtration efficiency, Singapore University of Technology and Design senior lecturer Teo Tee Hui told The Straits Times.
Thus, wearing such masks — even if they are not medical masks like surgical ones or the N95 and KF94 respirators — is better than not wearing any at all, said Dr Teo.
Dr Leong similarly told ST that mask-wearing collectively could possibly quadruple the possibility of preventing transmission of the virus between individuals.
He also urged people to regularly adopt strict physical distancing measures and good personal hygiene in addition to wearing masks.