Lifestyle Health & Fitness Mixed online response over efficacy of cloth masks given out by Government

Mixed online response over efficacy of cloth masks given out by Government

Several netizens raised the question of whether the reusable cloth masks being handed out by the Government would be effective in protecting users from the virus

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As the Government has gone after its initiative to hand out masks to Singaporeans, there has been a mixed online response over the efficacy of the cloth masks being distributed.

According to a report by Vulcan Post, the Singaporean government began distributing reusable masks on Sunday (April 5) among Singaporean residents–a week-long initiative that is set to continue until Sunday (April 12). At certain time frames during the day, the masks can be claimed at designated areas. Given the rise in confirmed Covid-19 cases within Singapore’s borders, the Government has recently been vocal about the importance of wearing a mask–a move which many have interpreted as a turnaround on its initial stance on the importance of mask-wearing.

However, netizens have had a mixed response towards the masks handed out by the Government. Some took the time to point out the material of the masks, which was cotton, and compared its efficacy rating against viruses with masks made of other materials. A couple of netizens raised the question of whether the reusable cloth masks being handed out by the Government would be effective in protecting users from the virus, as cloth masks had a 0% score against viruses, while both surgical masks and N95 masks scored 95% on the protection efficiency scale against viruses.

Photo: screengrab from Facebook / Oo Oo

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Photo: screengrab from Facebook / Oo Oo

Photo: screengrab from Facebook / Oo Oo

Others, however, pointed out that instead of taking complaints to Facebook, people who are skeptical regarding the efficacy of the masks being given out would do better to just buy their own masks made of materials more effective against the virus. For netizen Joe Lau, “Hav(ing a) mask is better than no mask.”

Photo: screengrab from Facebook / Oo Oo

Photo: screengrab from Facebook / Oo Oo

Photo: screengrab from Facebook / Oo Oo

Photo: screengrab from Facebook / Oo Oo

Adding fuel to the fire, in a recent Facebook post, socio-political activist Gilbert Goh urged Singaporeans to be wary of the masks being handed out by the Government, as washing them before use is important. “Be careful if you wear the government-issued face mask…you need to wash it first,” he cautioned. “Moreover, it’s not a proper surgical mask so may not be effective in protecting you from any virus-laden environment.”

According to Mr Goh, the mask is “a dust mask at best,” though he still encouraged people that wearing something is better than not wearing anything at all.

Be careful if you wear the government-issued face mask…you need to wash it first.Moreover, it's not a proper…

Posted by Gilbert Goh on Sunday, April 5, 2020

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