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04 Feb 2020
Covid-19 crisis
Suggestion View - 448
Give the face masks to people who need them more

I saw some comments in the Internet - why are the people in China using face masks all over the place, and yet our own govt leaders said that there is no need to use face mask in Singapore. Are our leaders exposing our citizens to high risks?

I wish to address this question. 

The level of risk is quite different. 

a) In China, there are a few tens of thousand of known infected cases and many more that are not known yet. They could be under the incubation period. In Singapore, the known infected cases are just a handful. The unknown cases are probably quite rare.

b) It is winter in China. the risk of the virus spreading in a cold climate and causing a lot of harm to the victim is quite high. In a hot climate, like in Singapore, the risk is quite small. Even if a frail person is infected, the risk of fatality is much lower in a hot climate compared to a cold climate.

If a person is not sick, there is no need to wear the face mask. The risk of a healthy person being infected is very small. I do not wear the face mask. I do not see any need for it.

There is a shortage of face masks around the world. We need them much less than the people in cold climate. We certainly need them much less than the people in China where the number of infected people is the highest in the world.

Let us not hoard the precious masks. Let the people who need them more have access to them.

Hello - I am not a medical expert. I give this opinion based on my "common sense". I shall look for views from expert to confirm or reject this hypothesis. If you are a non-expert and have a different view, you can express it politely. Do not be haughty to think that you are right and I am wrong.

Tan Kin Lian

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