21 October 2021
Temasek Foundation is offering StayWell Mouth Gargle free to every Singapore home under its Stay Prepared initiative, to help everyone to stay safe and well, and safeguard our local community.
The StayWell mouth gargle contains 1% povidone-iodine (PVP-I) as an active ingredient that is effective against a wide range of germs, including those that cause sore throat.
Singapore is in a transition towards living with COVID-19 as an endemic infection.
Vaccinations are a critical defence to curb the spread, and reduce the severity, of COVID-19 illnesses. This is especially important for our seniors above 60 years old; pregnant mothers; those with weakened immunity from illness or medication; those with high-risk chronic conditions like obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure; and those with underlying heart or lung conditions.
Seniors 60 years or older can walk into any vaccination centre for their booster shots 6 months after their 2nd shot. A booster shot can drastically reduce the risk of infection as well as the risk of severe infection or illness for seniors.
Younger adults from 30-59 years old can register for their boosters upon their SMS invitation.
High vaccination coverage, including boosters, also helps to protect those who are unable to be vaccinated yet, such as younger children.
During the transition to living with COVID-19 over the next few months, we should remain diligent about wearing our masks; cleaning our hands regularly; and avoiding small, enclosed spaces with poor ventilation.
Most importantly, we urge Singapore residents to reduce the frequency and diversity of social contacts for mask down activities especially to reduce the pressure on our hospitals and our healthcare workers; keep our eating and drinking social circles small, and limit dining activities to our household members wherever possible, over the next couple of months. Alternatively, if we are meeting different groups of contacts for mask down activities like dining or drinks, we should consider spacing out such activities with one to two week breaks in between the different groups. This is a form of safe distancing over time, to break the chain of transmission, especially from silent, or asymptomatic, carriers.
Working with Singapore Post and other partners, the Stay Prepared team is offering free StayWell mouth gargle for all households as an additional care item. This latest initiative follows earlier initiatives over the past 18 months for the distribution of masks, hand sanitisers, and oximeters, free for Singapore residents or households.
The StayWell Mouth Gargle will be distributed in two tracks:
Residents who are interested to collect on behalf of their households need to register online from Monday, 15 November to Friday, 10 December 2021, using their SP residential water bill account. Home address and email contact will be required as part of the verification process. Self-collection will take place from Monday, 22 November to Sunday, 12 December 2021, and is subject to availability.
Should demand exceed expectations, a second round of self collection may take place after the Chinese New Year season.
The mouth gargle available for all households is a 250ml bottle of 1% povidone-iodine (PVP-I) mint flavour orange colour mouth gargle, fitted with a 25ml measuring cup.
1% PVP-I Mouth Gargle for all households; collection via registration
Singapore Post will deliver an additional small 125ml bottle of PVP-I mouth gargle to each letter box for 1 to 4-room HDB households, starting on Monday, 25 October and ending on Friday, 19 November 2021.
Household members may download the SingPost mobile app to track the delivery status of this additional bottle to their letter box, using their SingPass login.
Residents of 1 to 4-room HDB flats may also register for the self-collection of the StayWell household mouth gargle, under the Registration & Self-collection track.
Additional small bottle of 1% PVP-I Mouth Gargle for 1 to 4-room HDB households; delivery by SingPost to respective letter boxes
Who May Register & How to Collect the Mouth Gargle?
The Registration & Self-collection method of StayWell mouth gargle programme is open to all Singapore residential households with an SP residential water bill account number.
Residents may pre-select their preferred time and collection point from about 40 locations, comprising select shopping centres and select Singapore Pools branches, as well as Singapore EXPO, subject to availability.
Residents may register and collect on behalf of family members and friends as long as they have their SP residential water bills, and booking confirmation email or WhatsApp message. Residents are reminded that they must have authorisation to collect the mouth gargle on behalf of another household. It is a crime to misuse another household’s bill account information or the physical SP bill to falsely represent such authorisation to collect the mouth gargle.
All collection points are equipped with security cameras, and Temasek Foundation will provide information to the police to assist in their investigations into any unauthorised collection of mouth gargle. Those who dishonestly deprive others of collecting their mouth gargle through fraudulent methods of obtaining their personal information to misuse this for personal gain, will be dealt with sternly and in accordance with the law.
How to Use the Mouth Gargle?
We may gargle up to 2-4 times a day whenever we feel a sore throat coming, or for general oral hygiene.
We may gargle with 15 ml or one capful of the mouth gargle for about 30 seconds. Spit the solution out after gargling, and do not swallow.
Please consult a doctor before using any PVP-I mouth gargle or throat spray if you are:
Please consult a doctor immediately if:
As manufacturer instructions vary, residents should refer to the leaflets enclosed with their mouth gargle for more details.
More General information on PVP-I
PVP-I is a brown liquid that is fast acting against a range of pathogens, including those that may cause sore throat.
PVP-I mouth gargle is specifically formulated for gargling. Do not swallow or drink any mouth gargle or PVP-I solution.
Several brands of PVP-I mouth gargle are available on the market including from online platforms, for those who wish to purchase additional supplies.
There are also PVP-I liquid disinfectants available on the market that are used to disinfect wounds or skin surfaces. These may be used to disinfect skin before surgery. They are not formulated as mouth gargle, and may contain other disinfectants other than PVP-I or higher concentrations of PVP-I than in mouth gargle.
DO NOT use such PVP-I disinfectants as mouth gargle.
Always check against the manufacturer’s instructions before using any PVP-I products.
Disclaimer on Medical Advice
The information provided in this media release and other collaterals for the StayWell Mouth Gargle exercise is not intended as medical advice.
Residents are advised to consult a doctor if they require medical advice or medical information.
Hotline and Web-form for Enquiries
Please visit www.stayprepared.sg/staywell or follow Temasek Foundation on Facebook for more information on the StayWell Mouth Gargle initiative and other upcoming distributions.
The 1800-222-2000 hotline is open from Thursday, 21 October to Sunday, 12 December, 9am to 6pm daily (except on weekends and Public Holidays). Enquiries or feedback may also be submitted via stayprepared.sg/help.
Maintaining Personal Hygiene to Safeguard the Community against COVID-19
Around the globe, countries are progressively starting to open up, albeit at different pace depending on their local circumstances. Singapore is among them.
It has been nearly two years since Singapore witnessed its first COVID-19 case in the country. Since then, various efforts and regulations have been put in place to curb the spread of the virus and support Singapore residents through these trying times, with the ultimate goal of helping everyone resume their daily lives safely.
The StayWell mouth gargle contains 1% PVP-I.
Singapore’s vaccination coverage has surpassed 80%. This is an encouraging and necessary step towards our transition into a new normal of living with COVID-19. As we still have the vulnerable among us, it is crucial for every Singapore resident to exercise care in preventing rapid or large-scale transmissions in the community.
Important safety measures include mask wearing; safe distancing in space and time; avoiding high risk behaviours, activities, and venues; and maintaining good personal hygiene.
Besides good hand hygiene, oral hygiene also helps to reduce common respiratory infections such as sore throats, and contributes to personal wellbeing.
Mr Lim Boon Heng, Chairman, Temasek, said: “This month, Singapore is experiencing a number of changes in community restrictions as we learn to live with COVID-19 endemic in our community. What has remained constant throughout this campaign against COVID-19 has been the collective effort of every Singapore resident to adapt to the evolving challenges of the virus, including the now-dominant Delta variant. We must continue to stay resilient and help one another stay well, through initiatives such as this. Because no one is safe till everyone is safe.”
Temasek Foundation thanks its partners for supporting the mouth gargle distribution. They include Singapore Post for packing and delivering the mouth gargle bottles to 1 to 4-room HDB flats, managing the hotline, and sponsoring associated costs; SP Group for also managing the hotline; as well as Singapore Pools, Constellar, Frasers Property, City Developments Limited for providing venues and facilitating the collection of the mouth gargle, and Certis for special distributions.
Ms Woon Saet Nyoon, Chief Executive, Temasek Foundation Cares, added: “As we prepare to go into the new norm, we must check the overall personal wellness box too. Besides washing hands or using hand sanitiser regularly, oral hygiene is just as important. The povidone-iodine mouth gargle helps to kill germs like those that cause sore throat. I have personally been using it for many years whenever I feel a sore throat coming, and found it very effective. Together with vaccinations and other measures such as mask wearing, we can confidently do our part to help reduce the spread of infectious germs or viruses in our community, and transition safely over the next few months to living with COVID-19.”
Temasek Foundation COVID-19 Initiatives
Since early last year, Temasek Foundation has been working with multiple partners to provide support in and outside Singapore in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The first nationwide #BYOBclean in March 2020 was an initiative in Singapore to encourage hand hygiene, where Temasek Foundation partnered with People’s Association, corporates, unions, universities, and community organisations to provide 500ml of free hand sanitiser to every household in Singapore. Residents brought their own bottles, and volunteers helped to mix and fill these #BYOBclean bottles. The second #BYOBclean nationwide initiative in April 2021 was the first in the world to use vending machines to mix and dispense hand sanitisers.
Temasek Foundation also contributed five rounds of free reusable masks in June/July 2020, September/October 2020, November/December 2020, March 2021 and August/September 2021. The use of reusable masks helps to lower infection spread, and reduce plastic waste from disposable masks.
With the emergence of more infectious COVID-19 variants, Temasek Foundation has also distributed over 75 million medical grade single-use masks in August/September 2021. These include over 50 million medical grade surgical masks which can be used as an added layer of protection on top of reusable masks or used on their own; and over 25 million N95 hospital grade masks for use in high exposure risk situations.
In July/August 2021, Temasek Foundation also distributed over 1 million free oximeters to interested households in Singapore to empower residents to monitor their blood oxygen levels regularly. By knowing their normal oxygen levels, people can be alerted if their oxygen levels drop below normal, and avert dangerous “silent pneumonia” from COVID-19 infections.
Other community efforts in Singapore by Temasek Foundation included:
Temasek Foundation has also facilitated over 200,000 swab tests plus care packs for priority groups such as migrant workers, essential and frontline staff, stallholders, retail assistants and town council staff in our residential precincts to ensure that our community stays prepared and keep safe.
More recently, we launched Youth Action for Pandemics, an initiative for people under 40 years old with innovative ideas to help address COVID-19 and prepare for the next pandemic.
Besides taking care of our local community, Temasek Foundation recognises the need to ensure that communities beyond Singapore are well-equipped against this pandemic. Initiatives include the donation of Personal Protection Equipment such as masks, gowns, and gloves; oxygen-related support equipment, from oxygen concentrators and ventilators, to ICU ventilators and ECMO lung machines; and diagnostics such as test kits to healthcare partners in some 40 countries beyond Singapore.
Together with the World Food Programme and Singapore Airlines, we have been supporting efforts to transport essential medical supplies and other health and humanitarian items to points of need across Asia and the Pacific. Singapore Airlines and Temasek Foundation co-sponsored the cost of flights to transport the life-saving supplies to different countries. The partnership has so far completed more than 50 flights, carrying over 5,500 cubic metres of COVID-related products such as oxygen equipment, face shields, goggles, gowns, and respirator masks.
For more information about other Stay Prepared initiatives, visit stayprepared.sg.