MADE IN SINGAPORE FOR SINGAPORE BIO-LABONE surgical masks
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
You've got questions and that's fair.
Here are some that we've been asked.
Why are you doing this?
We have been monitoring the COVID-19 crisis since January 2020. There are several challenges that we see that are coming - one of them is the global demand for masks increasing as we raise our efforts to manage the disease.
Singapore currently depends mostly on China to provide the current supply of surgical masks. We would like to provide an alternative local source to reduce that dependency.
When the circuit breaker is lifted and the population resumes life, using masks will be a norm when we go out. This is likely to last until a vaccine is found or we find another way to manage the virus. We want to ensure that we have a local source should there be any external factors occurring that might disrupt our supplies coming in.
Aren't there other companies producing masks already in Singapore? Or why not just import from Taiwan or China?
Most of the masks labelled ‘Products of Singapore’ are manufactured outside of Singapore, typically in China.
In contrast, our masks will be produced in our production facility BASED IN Singapore.
We are starting this facility to ENSURE that we have our own local supply of masks for the longer term. This is also aimed at guarding against potential export restrictions from countries currently supplying masks to Singapore. We believe that even after the Circuit Breaker is lifted, masks will be considered an essential item.
The Circuit Breaker is going to end on 4 May. Why do I still need to wear a mask?
As of 14 April 2020, it is mandatory to wear a mask when stepping out of the house, with some exceptions like running and performing strenuous exercises. You will still be required to wear after the Circuit Breaker is lifted, until there are new directives from the authorities.
This is actually WHEN the real demand is going to go up. We want to be prepared for that BEFORE it happens and not be caught in a situation that we were in 2 months ago when there was a shortage everywhere.
We've all been issued a standard mask, why can't we just use that?
You can. Our masks cater to people who prefer to use surgical masks. You can find out more about the different types of masks and their effectiveness here: About Masks
For how long do we need to continue wearing masks?
Until the authorities advise new directives.
We anticipate that this will be until a vaccine is effectively deployed or we achieve herd immunity, whichever is sooner. For more information about herd immunity, see last section below.
WHO WE ARE
Who is Bio-Labone Scientific Group Pte Ltd? UEN: 201003748M
Bio-Labone Scientific Group PTE LTD was incorporated in 2010.
It provides a One-Stop Turnkey Solutions to laboratories as they are complex systems that requires various technical interfaces. Besides the provision of machines, fittings and fixtures, integration with other specifications, like supply systems of water, electricity, gas and ventilation system are required. Bio-Labone One-Stop service turns this complex system into a seamless and simple solution.
Bio-Labone has provided many laboratory solutions to manufacturing and research organizations in disciplines covering Food, Mineralogy, Pharmaceutical, Medical, Biotechnology, Nanotechnology and Life Science to name a few, mostly to overseas customers especially in China.
With this experience and expertise, when the COVID-19 crisis emerged, with the initial shortage of masks globally, Bio-Labone decided to set up a manufacturing facility in Singapore to ensure a local supply of high quality, standards-compliant surgical masks as means of staying resilient in times of need.
Setting up the manufacturing facility in Singapore is a new project. Here is the background:
Since Jan 2020, due to shut down of China the production of mask has dropped.
This has caused a spike in unfilled demand over supply.
Also the health crisis is growing globally and there price spikes created by sellers.
The shortage of the raw materials for the productions of masks has made the situation worse.
The price of imported masks will only continue to rise as long as we do not have the vaccine.
The current price range from $26-$35 per box and we expect that to continue to increase as demand increases. We are making available in our advance orders In our stores, per box prices as low as $14.50 .
We are establishing a Made in Singapore product to ensure we have the strategic assets to defend ourselves if the virus persist and other countries control or ban their export of mask to Singapore.
We have 5.8 mil population in Singapore 1 masks can last for 4 hours. 1 pax need at least 2 masks a day. Even with a facility in Singapore, we will not be able to produce enough for everyone but having self-reliant means is better then depending on other countries.
As part of this initiative, we have set up the necessary online structures including the website, online purchasing systems and social media to support this initiative.
Who is Strengths Quotient Institute Pte Ltd? UEN: 201223920M
Strengths Quotient Institute Pte Ltd (SQI) is a local training organisation that focuses on personal effectiveness education. Their signature program is the "Crack Your Strengths Quotient" Program that allows individuals to discover their "Unique Position of Strength". This is based on their proprietary Strengths Quotient® Framework.
They are also the local team supporting the global Money&You® Program, a business program from the United States that was started in 1979.
SQI decided to back one of their graduates who is involved in Bio-Labone's initiative to start a local mask-manufacturing facility because they are aligned with the intention to create self-sustainability with strategic assets such as the supply of surgical masks "made in Singapore for Singapore".
This is a 3-ply surgical mask. For more information about our product, see here: The Bio-Labone Mask
Can I re-use the mask?
The 3-ply surgical masks are meant for single use and to be disposed after use for safety and hygiene reasons.
Where are your masks produced?
Our masks are produced in our very own manufacturing plant in Singapore. We manufacture our masks within a cleanroom manufacturing facility in Tuas. Our masks have CE (Conformité Européenne, European Standard) and FDA (Food and Drug Administration, US) Standard certification, with a mininum 95% BFE (Bacterial Filtration Efficiency).
How many masks do I need?
Typically a box of 50 masks will last for about 200 hours of usage. If you wear a mask for 4 hours a day, one box will last for 50 days. If you wear a mask for 8 hours a day, this box will last you 25 days.
ABOUT PRE-ORDERING AND DELIVERY
When will the masks that I pre-order be delivered?
Upon receipt of your order and payment, our team will contact you with an estimated date of delivery to you, based on your selection. Deliveries are expected from 1 July 2020.
Can I wait until your production facility is up before I order from you? What's the difference?
Yes, you can.
The difference is the price of the masks during the pre-order period and after that. Your pre-orders allow us to gauge the demand for masks to start up this production facility. We are offering our supporters a special price in return for your support.
Can the masks be delivered overseas?
At the moment the supply of our masks are prioritised for distribution in Singapore only.
WHY DO I NEED TO WEAR A MASK?
What is a super-carrier?
A super-carrier is a person who is infecting a large group of people without realising it. This occurs because for COVID-19, someone who is infected might be asymptomatic, which means that he/she may have the disease but there are no symptoms shown (which might develop several days later).
During this stage, interaction with people can lead to the people being infected.
This is why quarantines, Stay-Home-Notices (for people who have travelled), contact tracing and the Flatten-The-Curve directives are in place, which includes the use of masks.
For more information about ‘flattening the curve’ - see question below.
What does "Flatten The Curve" mean?
Flattening the curve serves one critical objectives - To slow the rate of the spread of the disease to a point where the medical system has sufficient capacity to cope with and provide the best care possible for people who are infected with the disease.
It does not mean that we will not get infected. It is likely that most people will and some with more severe symptoms than others. About 20% of people infected will require intensive care. We don't know who the 20% will be.
The people most vulnerable are the elderly and people with comorbidity (other diseases present like heart problems, diabetes, cancer, etc. as their level of immunity is lower than the general population). However, there have been individuals who developed severe symptoms and have died who were not in those categories.
As we currently do not have a vaccine available, the way to flatten to curve for COVID-19 in Singapore is to slow down the spread of the disease by:
Aerosolisation occurs when a person coughs or sneezes into the air and the droplets of the cough or sneeze disperses a fine mist into the air around him/her. This fine mist has the potential to spread or remain in the area for a period of time, especially in enclosed spaces which have poor or little air circulation.
When another person inhales in the same space, he may inhale the fine mist. If the person who sneezed or coughed is a carrier of the virus, the people breathing in the fine mist might get infected.
What is Herd Immunity?
Herd Immunity noun
the resistance to the spread of a contagious disease within a population that results if a sufficiently high proportion of individuals are immune to the disease, especially through vaccination.
"the level of vaccination needed to achieve herd immunity varies by disease"
It has to be a managed strategy, the biggest consideration is that the medical system can cope with the rate of infection and provide the best care possible OR with a viable vaccine available that can be deployed.