Have you managed to buy a face mask? Do you want to buy a face mask? Read this first.

The Ministry of Health reported that the tenth case of the Wuhan coronavirus or 2019-nCoV was confirmed on January 29, 2020, and Singaporeans have begun to take measures they perceive would help protect themselves from the spread of disease.

Queues all over Singapore for face masks

Singaporeans turned out in droves at their local Watson’s, Mustafa, and other drugstores to get their hands on surgical masks, and N95 masks, in hopes of preventing the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus.

All kinds of masks are available, though, but the masks of choice for most citizens are the the disposable surgical masks and the N95 masks. Take a look at the queues forming on January 29, evening, which may have lead to all the face mask stocks flying off the shelves.

Another photo showed people queuing at Watson’s, the line snaking around the whole store and going outside.

But do you really need a mask and does it even help?

Official health advisories only recommend wearing masks if you are sick

Even as people scramble to secure masks for themselves and their families, Singaporean officials say that people who are well do not need to wear one.

The Ministry of Health website says, “Masks are generally not needed for people who are well.  

“If you are unwell, it is advisable for you to wear a surgical mask as it will help reduce the spread of the virus and it is also more practical for general public to use as compared to an N95 mask. Surgical masks can help block large-particle droplets and splatter from reaching the wearer’s mouth and nose, and reduce exposure of the wearer’s saliva and respiratory secretions to others.”

What you should do if you don’t want to wear a mask or can’t buy one

Government health officials also said that there is no shortage of masks and that regular restocks are on their way. They also assured the public that they have enough masks stockpiled for citizens.

Health experts also said that it is more important to practice proper hygiene and to avoid crowded areas. You should wash your hands before eating, after going to the bathroom, once you arrive home, and after you commuted. You should also refrain from touching your mouth, nose, and eyes without washing your hands properly.

Proper hand washing usually takes 40-60 seconds, and involves soaping your hands thoroughly, rinsing it with running water, using your elbow to turn the faucet off, and drying with a clean paper towel.

What is the latest on the Singapore cases of the Wuhan coronavirus?

According to a report by The Straits Times, there are ten confirmed cases of the disease in Singapore, and all of them are travelers from Wuhan.

The same website reported that a Scoot flight left Singapore for Wuhan, to repatriate Wuhan residents who were stranded in Singapore after all travel was ceased for Hubei province. Another flight is scheduled for Thursday.

While there has not been a confirmed case of the virus in a native Singaporean, the ambiguity surrounding the virus’ method of transfer and infectiousness is not clear. Australian scientists have been able to replicate the virus strain, which will greatly help experts in developing a vaccine.