Getting hold of masks in Singapore

With the expected increase in outbreak of the Covid-19 in Singapore, a few readers have emailed TR Emeritus (TRE) suggesting that we start a thread for readers to share their experiences in getting their hands on masks.

As far as TRE is aware, there is currently not a single retail outlet on the island that has masks for sale, but we may wrong.

Therefore:

1. If you have managed to buy some in a certain retail outlet or from an online store, please share with fellow readers. Do include time and place to avoid outdated information.

2. If you are an individual or business owner with ready stocks and willing to part with them at a reasonable price, please do feel free to post in this thread.

3. If you have bought masks online and you feel that it is of good quality and reasonably priced, please do share so others can consider buying them.

Clearly this is a difficult and worrying period for all of us, so please help each other by sharing.

Thank You and Good Health.

 

[email protected]

 

* The World Health Organisation, seeking to distinguish the virus from the disease it causes, said on Tuesday (11 Feb) that it had named the virus SARS-CoV-2, and the disease Covid-19.

 

 

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23 Responses to “Getting hold of masks in Singapore”

  • Retail outlets are in the business of making money. So it defies logic that they would not want to stock up on masks since it is the hottest selling item on the market.

    If I were a business owner, I would have beg, steal and borrow to procure BILLIONS of masks for sale knowing full well that profit is certain. “Whats wrong with making more money”?

    Therefore there can only be 3 logical explanations as to why no masks are available.

    1. The upstream mask suppliers have ran out of stocks due to global demands.

    2. Some certain agencies have “strongly advised” the retailers not to stock them as it goes against the official narrative and the city would look very “bad and ugly” and may cause the incoming visitors (i.e. $$$$) to panic.

    3. The existing limited stocks have been requisitioned by some certain agencies for the medical sector usage only (which is understandable).

    On a side note, if some private individuals got spares to sell, how much do you think is “reasonable”?

    I bought 8 of them at RMB $1 each (normal was RMB $0.50) during CNY eve and it then went to RMB $2 each a day later. In less than 3 days, the entire city all sold out liao and no sight of masks until today.

    One lady friend of mine working in a pharmacy privately bought 10 cartons (100 masks per carton) and managed to sell them at a good profit in cash when it was RMB 2. She was lucky because then the authorities were not busy looking for those try to profit from “national disaster”.

    P/S: I heard gahment donated $1 million to China along with medicine and medical accessories, anyone knows if any precious masks were donated?

    .

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  • mike:

    1. Major masks manufacturing factories in Taiwan and China ate currently being made strategically report to their government. Their finished product are now under central control, no sales no export.

    2. Japan, not sure about their production, traditionally they constantly use masks. Surely they are now low in supply in the market as:
    A. Plenty chinese in Japan bought large quantity and export to China.
    B. Some distributors are limiting supply to the domestic market and redistribute to high demand + high margin oversea markets such as Taiwan, China, Singapore

    3. Europe suppliers currently have massive order lists that struggling to supply and meet. Most have to wait more than months

    Please don’t forget about industries which requires to operate under clean room environment too… they need masks or they will stop work.

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  • @mike

    This is so true in China where large masks production factories are now selling it direct to government agencies and no longer to retailers.

    Even if Alibaba were to place an order for a billion masks from them, I think they will tell Alibaba to go mate with a spider. lol

    I doubt anyone can get their hands on retail masks throughout China now but I might be mistaken since I have been locked down in the village since CNY. Any readers in China care to share?

    I was however, able to get in touch with some medium-sized suppliers in China who are still selling masks for retail but their minimum order is mostly 10,000 pieces, ranging from RMB$0.04 each to RMB $0.50. They still do International delivery except mainland China.

    I am thinking of maybe ordering from them to share within the villages (if still got stock) after the lockdown since the virus obviously won’t be “cleaned” by then.

    Business owners in Singapore who would like to order may click this link to order through Alibaba International. Once on the main page, search for “surgical masks”.
    .

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  • Bapak:

    Just googles online shopping you get the whole list of masks, goggles, gloves including safety suit if you want. But one must be reality here. The normal N95 or surgical masks are not availble most of the time. You have to go for higher-end products and don’t think you can get these items cheap and immediately at this time. You must be prepared to wait.

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  • pua:

    i got my mask from Mustapha.

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  • REGIME CHANGE is the solution:

    Send a “signal” to PAP by wearing a mask when you vote at the coming GE – “You are sick of PAP.”

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  • $18 for Pack of 20:

    Tampines Block 828 has limited stock as of 2020-02-13:20:00. Retail shop next to Japan’s Home. Surgical masks (3 ply) without ear loops, need to tie at the back. Hope it helps.

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  • Make your own:

    No one will sell you masks at yesterday’s prices when this item was selling like hot cakes when there were snaking queues at ev store.
    Masks are like gold nowdays..very precious n expensive..
    If cannot find anywhere,make your own…its not difficult.
    how many of us can afford those $49 each high-end types? Its not even necc.

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  • Sure or not?:

    TRE Techie:
    Retail outlets are in the business of making money. So it defies logic that they would not want to stock up on masks since it is the hottest selling item on the market.

    If I were a business owner, I would have beg, steal and borrow to procure BILLIONS of masks for sale knowing full well that profit is certain. “Whats wrong with making more money”?

    Therefore there can only be 3 logical explanations as to why no masks are available.

    1. The upstream mask suppliers have ran out of stocks due to global demands.

    2. Some certain agencies have “strongly advised” the retailers not to stock them as it goes against the official narrative and the city would look very “bad and ugly” and may cause the incoming visitors (i.e. $$$$) to panic.

    3. The existing limited stocks have been requisitioned by some certain agencies for the medical sector usage only (which is understandable).

    On a side note, if some private individuals got spares to sell, how much do you think is “reasonable”?

    I bought 8 of them at RMB $1 each (normal was RMB $0.50) during CNY eve and it then went to RMB $2 each a day later. In less than 3 days, the entire city all sold out liao and no sight of masks until today.

    One lady friend of mine working in a pharmacy privately bought 10 cartons (100 masks per carton) and managed to sell them at a good profit in cash when it was RMB 2. She was lucky because then the authorities were not busy looking for those try to profit from “national disaster”.

    P/S: I heard gahment donated $1 million to China along with medicine and medical accessories, anyone knows if any precious masks were donated?

    .

    Sure or not? If so, spore would be thanked in China acknowledgement of thanks. Many but not spore and US.

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  • mike:

    @ TRE Techie

    Bro, just be caution… that you might not receive them, not sure who will be able guarantee delivery even if you pay. So that’s a risk paying for nothing.

    Now there is plenty of news of robbing masks and protective gear supplies which meant to deliver from one place to another. Even lugguage bag was searched for masks and factories which announced that they have stockpile so that can start work were being forced to surrender the stocks for ‘central’ control.

    Most recent, Shanghai had sent a truck load of armed police (武警) to escort delivery of medical gowns from Shandong to Shanghai hospital…

    You might need to pay for 武警 service, that is if you can get them.

    Bro, take care and control, manage your food stock… harder time is yet to come and wish all best for you & your family.

    TRE Techie:
    @mike

    I was however, able to get in touch with some medium-sized suppliers in China who are still selling masks for retail but their minimum order is mostly 10,000 pieces, ranging from RMB$0.04 each to RMB $0.50. They still do International delivery except mainland China.

    I am thinking of maybe ordering from them to share within the villages (if still got stock) after the lockdown since the virus obviously won’t be “cleaned” by then.

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  • @mike

    I have used Alibaba’s service in the past and they work like Taobao, holding the paid funds in escrow until the buyer confirm delivery and receipt.

    The delivery is tracked all the way, so if it did not reach the intended recipient, then the payment will be returned within 1-2 days.

    As for the order, I am not ordering now, I am waiting for the lock down to be lifted then delivery will then be possible. Heard its going to be on 17 this month, but thats still a hunch.

    As for food, we can get the local community service to buy for us simple stuff, but no fancy things like crabs, prawns, abalone, fish, etc. They have a number we can call and they will take order (from a simple and very limited list) and buy in bulk. Delivery is once per day and we don’t get to choose quality since we can’t see what we buy.

    Pork and duck and common vegies currently not an issue but we have yet to see chickens for a week now. Beef and mutton think also don’t think since the lock down. Since the culling, pork is now approx 80 per kilo, almost the same price as beef and mutton liao. Chicken also slightly cheaper than port a bit nia. The prices not cheap but we all lan lan unless we dont want to eat.

    The situation now is like kenna remanded, dunno when the case will close and be released. lol

    Thank you for your concern, I will be very careful.

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  • Realistically:

    @ [email protected]

    Hi, I share, can?

    I managed to buy from NTUC, a packet of 10 surgical masks in the morning at one NTUC branch…….although the helpful NTUC cashier said item would be sold out soon……….so go in the morning and try your luck. I also collected 4 surgical masks from the CC.

    Hope everyone can stay healthy……..dun listen to that MOH A/P Mak……..or others, including the Bloomberg report which Roy Ngerng has posted. Except that my experience at Giant yesterday showed that the hypermarket was very well stocked……..so don’t panic buy lah……..more than ample supplies available leh.

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  • their own convenient time:

    //I managed to buy from NTUC, a packet of 10 surgical masks in the morning at one NTUC branch…….although the helpful NTUC cashier said item would be sold out soon…//

    hahahahaha. morning got but will be sold out soon ? so does this constitute as panic buying in such a way that it “will be sold out soon” and may not be available after sold-out-soon-period that MANY working people would be more available at their own convenient time to do their regular round (CALM manner hor not panic hor) of marketing / shopping ????

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  • @mike

    Yes, was aware of that but not likely because only 1 farm is culled. 10k plus chickens don’t think will affect supply since our city’s supply not from there.

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  • mike:

    @ TRE Techie

    Also due to lockdown everywhere, the food supply to chickens are being impacted too. Heard many chicken farmers are getting very worried about this. How these farmers may handle the chicken stock they are having is unknown at this point.

    TRE Techie:
    @mike

    Yes, was aware of that but not likely because only 1 farm is culled. 10k plus chickens don’t think will affect supply since our city’s supply not from there.

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  • SG "sufficient":

    SG Standard is what?

    “Sufficient” = not sufficient but sufficient for one day use?

    Lessee is Owner?

    Mee Siam Mai Hum?

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  • Realistically:

    Sorry forgot to say I bought the face mask on Monday 10 Feb @ about 10.00 am

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  • @mike

    I have this local villager who rears chickens but due to the lock down, her family cannot leave their home so she cannot deliver the orders. The local authorities only allow a select few retailers to make deliveries (kelong?).

    Else we would have chickens as she can be considered big with Ks of chickens. Maybe her famiyl forgot to kiss the right a$$e? lol

    UPDATE
    Lockdown extended to 24th Feb. have to loon for longer period without good food and chickens liao. :(

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  • Mask factory:

    Better to set up a mask factory in 6 days like China.
    No supply issue.

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  • mike:

    @ TRE Techie

    Bro, please take good care and manage food supply very tightly. Any $$$ should just spend on food to hold up for a potential much longer period. What i afraid most is that the virus did not kill but starvation will.

    Some i heard already sharing a pack of noodle between two adults for a day.
    Some more fortunate ones have been eating only potatoes for more than 10 days.

    The numbers keep changing, the goal post keep shifting, and solutions keep alterating. If what i heard is correct, they (CCP) are now trying new method of separating out seasonal flu vs the SARS-CoV2 and also trying to deal with sewage system.

    Some places had water supply, electric and gas terminated.

    I do not hope for the worst, but hope is not practical, doing something within your control to survive is meaningful.

    I just don’t wish this lockdown continues too long as it will drive people crazy and desperate. Crazy and desperate people can do all sort of things one can never imagine during peace and loving times.

    Once again, take care bro.

    Note: while China has been manipulating the WHO in changing the name of Wuhan virus (Covid-19), the Coronavirus Study Group (CSG) of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses, the paper noted, had decided that the virus is a variant of the coronavirus that caused an outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2002–03. So, it named the new pathogen severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus 2, or SARS-CoV-2.

    TRE Techie:
    UPDATE
    Lockdown extended to 24th Feb. have to loon for longer period without good food and chickens liao. :(

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  • Soccerbetting2:

    Reported on Straits Times website :Quote – “SINGAPORE – The President, all Cabinet ministers – including the Prime Minister – and political office-holders will take a one-month pay cut in solidarity with Singaporeans coping with the coronavirus outbreak, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said on Friday (Feb 28).

    Public officers manning the front line in Singapore’s battle against the coronavirus outbreak will also get up to one extra month of special bonus, he added.

    The front-line workers will include many healthcare officers in restructured hospitals and the Health Ministry,…. “Unquote.

    Response :All these front line workers are already overpaid and it is their responsibility to do their job, why need to pay them an extra month of special bonus for what? Ridiculous! Shouldn’t the whole government concentrate on getting masks and issuing more mask to the citizens? Now, everywhere no masks and where got protection from corona virus? Give bonus to front line workers is really a waste of resources and time.

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  • @mike

    Just an update, I received my 1000 pieces of masks today which I ordered last week. They were delivered via EMS.

    A bit pricey at RMB$1.50 a piece, but all taken up within a day shared between 3 villages.

    Will be sending a few back.

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