According to Reuters, game accessories maker Razer will place 20 face mask vending machines in Singapore by June 1 to help the city-state in which the company operates worldwide with its relief efforts for COVID-19.
"Razer will continue our efforts to help Singapore be self-sufficient for face masks as a nation," Min-Liang Tan, Razer, a city-state CEO, told Reuters.
The company already has a fully automated facial mask production line in Singapore, which the company set up in just 24 days last month after initially relocating part of its manufacturing in March to support the production of medical devices. Razer said on April 24 that more than 1 million of these masks have been shipped worldwide.
Razer's automated facial mask production line in Singapore.
With its vending machines, Razer is committed to distributing 5 million masks free to residents of Singapore aged 16 and over. After the first distribution, the masks are sold directly. The company also works with Singapore-based plastic manufacturer Sunningdale Tech to increase its production to 10 million masks per month.
With a population of more than 5 million, Singapore was initially praised for its largely successful contact tracking strategy, which allowed it to avoid barring and keep the number of COVID 19 cases shockingly low.
However, a troubling rise in confirmed cases – from the mid-hundreds to over 25,000 – beginning in April that focused on the city-state's migrant population has forced Singapore to change its strategy and set up strict housing orders. As part of its actions, the Singapore government has required face masks to be worn in public, making Razer's efforts more necessary as the government is forced to source suppliers.