As the number of those infected with the Wuhan virus in Singapore creeps up to 13 as of Jan 31, many Singaporeans have rushed to stock up on hand sanitisers and face masks in a bid to protect themselves and their loved ones.

In some cases, this has led to instances of hoarding, with individuals amassing a larger than necessary collection of masks for themselves, despite the authorities stressing that the masks need only be used by those who are unwell.

And then there are others who have tried to profiteer off the crisis by selling masks at a steep premium, whether in physical stores or on Carousell.

Both factors have only made it harder for those who actually need the masks to procure them.

Amid the unfortunate situation, Jevon Yeo, owner of ANB Discount Super Store at Bangkit Road, decided to do something to help.

In a post published on Facebook yesterday, Yeo announced that her store would distribute some 1,000 cloth masks to families with children below the age of 7, providing each child with two masks for free.

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Speaking to The Pride, Yeo explains why she wanted to do her part: “Earlier this week, I was at my other shop when a customer and her young daughter came to buy masks. When she found out that we had masks for children, she was very happy and bought a few for her daughter.

“Upon chatting with her further, I found out that she had been able to find only adult masks elsewhere but these aren’t suitable for children as they are too big.”

After checking that she still had some available stock left, she promptly told her staff to give them out for free if they encountered any young children.

While cloth masks are less effective in stopping the spread of the coronavirus than surgical masks, Yeo hopes her stock can help anyone who may find them useful. In a comment on the same post, she wrote that she was providing two masks per child so that they can be washed and changed daily for better hygiene.

Already, Yeo has received messages from several parents who are keen to pick up the masks from her store.

Image Source: Shutterstock / GOLFX

“I am a mother of three, so I fully understand how other parents are feeling right now. As I have some stock on hand, my only intention is to offer it to anyone who may find them useful,” she says.

“These masks aren’t expensive but they may help to some extent. As long as (the parents) don’t mind and find them useful, I’m happy to help.”

For information on how and when to use masks, refer to HealthHub’s recommendations here.