SINGAPORE – When Ms Chong Lee Lee, 56, went to Northpoint Cold Storage days after Temasek Foundation began its mask distribution exercise, there was no stock.

She returned another day after work to find the collection point closed, as it was past 8pm.

Ms Chong finally managed to get the masks when she visited Nex in Serangoon Central on Wednesday.

With the exercise ending next Sunday, Temasek Foundation said more than 2.6 million boxes of masks have been collected as at Sept 14.

When it was launched on Aug 26, 105,000 households collected their masks that day. Since then, more than one million redemptions of the medical-grade surgical and N95 masks have been made, a Temasek Foundation spokesman told The Sunday Times.

Each household can collect 50 medical-grade surgical masks and 25 N95 respirator masks at selected CapitaLand malls and supermarket outlets. Members of the public can find their nearest collection points and check if stock is available at this website.

They should bring along their SP utilities bill and their own bags to carry the masks.

ST visited three outlets on Wednesday and did not see any long queues for the masks.

At Cold Storage at Nex, Ms Chong, an administrative manager, said she had also gone to Khatib MRT Giant previously. But she was told the outlet did not have a collection point.

She said: “I did not look up the locations and thought all supermarkets would have the free masks.”

She was not the only one unsure about the collection points.

At the Sheng Siong supermarket at Block 739A Bedok Reservoir Road, most of the handful of people collecting masks were seniors like retiree Tan Kim Moh, 71, who knew he could collect the masks there only when he happened to ask the cashier about them.

A lady collecting her masks at Sheng Siong Bedok Reservoir on Sept 15, 2021. ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

A Sheng Siong staff member, who declined to be named, said although the supermarket did not hand out plastic bags, it gave them to people who needed them, such as seniors who had to walk home with the boxes of masks.

Over at Aperia Mall in Kallang Avenue, no bags were provided, and some who did not have their own bags had to hold the boxes.

Most people ST spoke to said they intended to collect the masks eventually. Housewife Pauline Neo Hong Yun, 61, who collected them from Cold Storage in Nex, said: “I planned to collect them as we’ll be wearing masks (for the) long term. We don’t know what will happen down the road.”

Last modified: September 19, 2021