As part of ongoing efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and support Singapore in becoming self-sufficient for face masks as a nation, homegrown gaming brand Razer has announced plans to give out 5 million single-use surgical masks for free, after which they will be available for purchase. The masks will be distributed through a network of cashless, minimal contact vending machines stationed all around the city-island-nation. They are intended to complement the reusable cloth masks currently being issued by the Singapore government.
Best known for building gaming peripherals, laptops, and mobiles, Razer will initially deploy 20 machines at Fraser Property malls and JustCo coworking centres in and around the Central Business District by June 1, when Singapore is set to lift lockdown measures. All Singaporean residents aged 16 and above will be able to claim their free masks by scanning a QR code allocated through Razer Pay, Razer Fintech’s mobile wallet app.
The company already has a fully automated mask production line in Singapore (the city’s first), which it established in April in just 24 days. They are now partnering with local plastic manufacturer Sunningdale Tech to double its capacity to 10 million masks per month, and have shipped over 1 million masks worldwide to date.
With a population of 5.7 million, Singapore was originally hailed as one of the few countries alongside Hong Kong and Taiwan that got its coronavirus response right. Their contact tracing strategy had allowed it to keep cases in the low hundreds without imposing the lockdown restrictions endured by millions elsewhere. Today, however, Singapore has 24,671 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 21 deaths, largely concentrated among the city’s low-paid migrant worker population. The government made it mandatory to wear masks in public on April 14, but amid global shortages, Razer’s initiative is all the more important.
More about Razer
Founded in 2005, Razer is a global gaming hardware manufacturing company, as well as an esports and financial services provider with headquarters in Irvine and Singapore. Last year, the company made USD 517.9 million in revenue, with a market value of USD 2.2 billion.