Ample supply of face masks


KUALA LUMPUR: People have been stocking up on surgical masks, as well as fabric face masks, in anticipation of the mandatory face mask ruling, which kicks in today.

Checks by the New Straits Times at retail outlets and e-commerce platforms revealed that although face masks were flying off the shelves since the government’s announcement of the new ruling, they were still widely available.

Hani Shamira Shahrudin, 29, a brand communication assistant manager at a telecommunications company, said she bought three-ply surgical face masks on Shopee.

“I am browsing for the technologically enhanced mask, where there is a fan attached to it, such as the Xiaomi Purely or Philips Blaise mask, to see if it’s feasible to use.

“That way, I can stay comfortable, while also being environmentally friendly by reducing waste (from single-use surgical masks).”

She said since public transport, such as the light rail transit, had been allowed to operate on full capacity, she would try to avoid travelling during the rush hours.

She said people should not be selfish by refusing to put on a face mask, especially in crowded places.

“Malls and restaurants should be strict in enforcing this face mask ruling, and ensure everyone practised social distancing. We did it during the Movement Control Order, which means that we could do it all along.

“But we have been taking things for granted when the MCO was relaxed. So to prevent a second wave of infections, we could be as strict as we were before.”

A mother of one, who wanted to be known only as Mrs Chee, 36, said the ruling was a good move by the government and hoped that it would be strictly enforced.

She said her family mostly used reusable cloth face masks with filters, but opted for surgical masks when they headed to high-risk areas like shopping complexes.

“I have three-ply surgical face masks and use them only if I’m going to crowded areas like the supermarket or the mall.”

Meanwhile, a medical doctor, who declined to be named, said while the ruling was welcomed, the government should clearly specify the locations where mask-wearing was compulsory.

“For instance, how many people are allowed in a car? Must occupants be related? Must they wear face masks?

“How about in a restaurant? Must patrons use face masks? If they are seated too close to the next diner, who would be penalised — the diner or the shop owner?

“Is face mask compulsory whenever one is outside the house such as when one is exercising, walking or hiking?”

By New Straits Times.

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