A report on the government mouthpiece paper, The Straits Times, said that some Chinese nationals who are living in Singapore are buying masks to bring or send back to their hometowns in China, as apparently, there are shortages arising from the Wuhan virus there. The report, which came out about a week ago, seem more apt now that Singapore is facing 4 new cases where the virus was locally transmitted.
What it did not report is whether this hoarding of face masks to be sent back to China was depriving Singaporeans of buying them for themselves, as there are hordes of photos of videos showing how face masks were mostly out of stock in most stores in Singapore. It does seem that the PRCs in Singapore are stocking up on the N95 masks, with most of them going from pharmacy to pharmacy, with some going online to purchase. Some PRCs, being the kiasu people they are, have even went direct to wholesalers to get their masks.
The Singapore government have said that there are enough masks for every Singaporeans, and to prove this, they even provided 4 masks for each Singaporeans households for free. PM Lee himself has said that the masks are not necessary to be used if the person is not sick.
But still, to see hordes of PRC buying back masks from Singapore stores not for their own use, but for the use of the families back home in China, is surely disconcerting. It not only deprived Singaporeans of masks ready to purchase in SG stores, but is a also socially irresponsible thing to do by buying masks not to be used in Singapore, but in China.
Remain calm and carry on