Singapore Looks To Manufacturing Face Masks Locally After Other Countries Reduce Exports

With the outbreak of Covid-19, a global shortage of face masks ensued.

In Asia, countries that were primary providers for surgical masks are reducing their exports to countries.

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As such, Singapore’s supply might dwindle in time to come.

The government is, however, looking for alternative sources and are considering building local facilities to produce our own face masks supply.

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This was revealed in a written answer by the Ministry of National Development on Tuesday (18 Feb).

Countries reducing their face mask exports

As citizens around the world scurry for medical supplies, countries are increasingly more protective of these precious resources.

This is to prepare for the potentially long battle against Covid-19, ensuring that medical staff will have protective gear.

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With the global shortage of masks, countries like Taiwan had placed a ban on masks exports, expected to last till May.

Furthermore, India and Thailand also introduced more stringent policies to protect the supply of medical equipment.

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Singapore might be affected by reduction of face mask exports

To tide through this emergency, Singapore still has a stockpile of both N95 and surgical masks, as revealed in a written answer by the Ministry of National Development.

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However, this does not mean we can be complacent with our usage of surgical masks.

In the long run, the dwindling stockpile will need replenishing. The impact of such protectionist measures might hit us in the near future.

Searching for sustainable sources

Though so, we are reassured that the government is working on building facilities to produce medical protective gear.

In the same written answer, it is clarified that Singapore is looking into the local manufacturing of surgical masks.

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The support for local production of supplies will help us deal with the potential shortages.

You can read the ministry’s written answer here in full.

Responsible usage of face masks

Hence, Singaporeans need to be mindful of our masks consumption.

Queue for face masks in Singapore mall
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While it makes us feel safer, we are also using up medical supplies at an unreasonably fast rate, which might be detrimental to Singapore in the long term.

We need to think ahead and be responsible while purchasing medical supplies.

Featured image adapted from Bangkok Post.