Amid reports of panic buying of surgical masks or profiteers selling them at insane prices after the novel coronavirus outbreak in Singapore, a group of mask vigilantes have stepped up to give out masks to those in need — all this straight out of their own pocket.
A search on online marketplace Carousell showed at least 15 listings for free masks and the platform has created a “Free Items” category through which those in need can contact them.
One Good Samaritan, user ilovesingaporesg, who only wanted to be known as CNG, tells 8days.sg that this was her way of doing her part for society. When news of the virus broke, she scoured the Internet for masks and after setting aside some for her family, she decided to give the balance of “a few hundred masks” away to those in need.
In her listing, she says she is giving away free masks to the elderly, children and those who are sick, and has so far given away 150 masks to residents who live near her in Sengkang.
“I only give one to two masks per person but some people have asked me for a box. I tell them that this is not within my limit and if I do so, I won’t be able to help others,” she says.
“One lady who is in confinement contacted me, so I mailed 10 masks to her and her family. A lot of people do not have access to masks, so this is my way of helping them,” she adds.
Also spreading the love are businesses such as home and décor firm U-Gate Design. According to the company’s director Alvin Goh, they purchased the 5,000 masks directly from a supplier and have since distributed around 2,000 masks to “help everyone get protected during this difficult period”.
“People volunteering to distribute masks have also been reaching out to us so we try to help as much as possible,” Alvin says. Those in need can contact them via their Facebook page or call 9658 8509.
Who else is giving away free masks?
MEGACOOL (Singapore) Pte Ltd
Who is eligible: Elderly, children and those who are sick
Number of masks per person: 10
Where: 9010, Tampines Street 93, #01-73, S(528844). Weekdays from 10am to 4pm. Check for availability here.
Carousell user carwerkz.com
Who is eligible: Everyone
Number of masks per person: 2
Where: 126, Joo Seng Road, #06-11B, Gold Pine Industrial Building, S(368355), from 11am to 12pm. Check for availability here.
Carousell user littlenev
Who is eligible: Elderly and families with members who are unwell
Number of masks per person: 8
Where: 18, Hougang Avenue 3, from 6pm to 10pm. Check for availability here.