Wear masks with higher filtration capability if you have to head out: Lawrence Wong

These would include reusable masks that are made of at least two layers of fabric, and surgical masks.

Lean Jinghui | May 18, 2021, 06:20 PM

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Mask use will continue to be one of the key public health strategies in reducing the transmission of Covid-19 in Singapore.

According to a press release by the Ministry of Health (MOH), the recent clusters suggest a higher level of transmission, likely attributed to new virus variants.

A mask with better protection, such as those with better filtration efficiency, will thus help to mitigate the increased risks of transmission and infection.

This was announced during a virtual press conference held by the Multi-Ministry Task Force (MTF) on Tuesday, May 18.

Use surgical masks or those with filter inserts

Co-chair of the Covid-19 task force and Minister of Finance Lawrence Wong explained that the updated guidance for use of masks applies especially if one is headed to an enclosed space with people in close proximity.

He stressed that "it's not just wearing a cloth mask".

He emphasised the need to wear a mask with higher filtration capability, as new evidence of various strains of Covid-19 had indicated how transmissible they are, and that they could spread through aerosolised particles.

According to MOH, masks with better filtration efficiency include reusable masks that are made of at least two layers of fabric, and surgical masks.

Reusable masks such as those issued by the People’s Association and Temasek Foundation are considered to have good filtration efficiency.

MOH added that when necessary, members of the public can refer to the product specifications of single-use masks, where they would typically report their filtration efficiency.

MOH and the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) will subsequently put up guidelines to aid the public in choosing masks that can better protect against the new variants.

Stay home, go out only for essential activities

Wong also appealed to members of the public to continue staying home as much as possible, and go out only for essential activities.

He thanked Singaporeans and other residents for cooperating with tightened measures, and taking the restrictions in stride.

He said:

"I know this has been very difficult and disruptive for all of you, and I want to thank you for doing your part to curb the spread of the virus. So let's hunker down, keep our spirits up, continue to support each other, and we can get through this together."

Top image by Markus Winkler via Unsplash.