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Singapore building up domestic production of face masks: Chan Chun Sing

SINGAPORE — Singapore is ramping up its domestic production of face masks, Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing said in Parliament on Monday (April 6), though he declined to reveal details except that the Government is working with partners to secure materials.

Singapore building up domestic production of face masks: Chan Chun Sing

Singapore is ramping up its domestic production of face masks, Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing said.

SINGAPORE — Singapore is ramping up its domestic production of face masks, Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing said in Parliament on Monday (April 6), though he declined to reveal details except that the Government is working with partners to secure materials. 

Mr Chan was responding to a supplementary question by Ms Cheng Li Hui, Member of Parliament (MP) for Tampines Group Representation Constituency (GRC), who asked whether reports that production lines for masks that are being brought back to Singapore are accurate. 

She also asked what type of masks are being produced and what the production capacity is. 

“We are building up our own capacity. But at this point in time, it will not be appropriate for us to talk about this capacity, because we are working with partners to secure the materials, the lines. But suffice to say that this is something that we have been looking at for some time,” Mr Chan said in response. 

When asked by Ms Cheng about reports that other countries may be hijacking certain goods such as face masks, Mr Chan said that it is essential for countries around the world to maintain their global supply chains instead of shifting the production of masks and other hospital-grade protective equipment for just their own domestic use. 

“Our position to every country is this: It makes more sense for all of us to work together to keep the supply chains open. It benefits not just us, it benefits everybody. But when every country starts to shut down their own production system only for themselves, it reduces the entire global capacity,” he said. 

This is because global supply chains are arranged in a way such that most countries do not manufacture final products but just components of the product, he explained. 

“In order for us to have sufficient (goods) for everyone across the entire world, it is essential for every one of us to make sure that we uphold the integrity of global supply chains,” Mr Chan stressed again. 

He also said that supplies of hospital-grade personal protective equipment for Singapore’s frontline healthcare workers will be prioritised and the Government will continue to preserve its stockpile for these workers. 

“This is also the reason why we have issued reusable cloth masks for the general public. The needs of the general public are different from the needs of the frontline healthcare workers,” he said.

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masks Covid-19 coronavirus Chan Chun Sing Parliament

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