17 March 2020
Temasek Foundation greatly appreciates the support of People’s Association, CapitaLand, SG Cares, Singapore Post, SP Group and many other local partners, to provide up to half a litre of alcohol-free hand sanitiser to almost 1.5 million households in Singapore. This is part of a Stay Prepared initiative to support the Singapore community during the current COVID-19 outbreak.
The World Health Organisation has recommended that regular handwashing with soap and water is an effective way of preventing the spread of viruses and other germs. However, hand sanitisers are especially useful when there are no convenient hand washing facilities available. Apart from alcohol-based hand sanitisers, there are also safe broad spectrum non-alcohol based sanitisers which can be considered.
Based on the interim guidelines from the National Environment Agency of Singapore, and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) in the European Union, 0.05% of benzalkonium chloride or BKC is one of the non-alcohol disinfectants that can be used against coronaviruses.
Temasek Foundation is supplying 500ml of 0.054% BKC sanitiser to every household in Singapore. It is a water-based zero alcohol hand sanitiser, which is not flammable. It is also not toxic or corrosive, and does not stain clothing, or irritate the skin.
The hand sanitiser will be available for collection around Singapore over two weeks, from 23 March to 29 March 2020 at any of the 109 CCs around Singapore, and from 23 March to 5 April 2020, at 16 participating CapitaLand malls. In other words, during the first week on 23-29 March (Mon-Sun) of the #BYOBclean community rollout, residents may collect from either the 109 CCs or the 16 participating CapitaLand malls. In the following week of 30 March – 5 April (Mon-Sun), residents may collect from any of the 16 participating CapitaLand malls.
Interested households should bring along these two items to any of the above venues to collect their 500ml of sanitiser solution:
1. #BYOBclean Pamphlet
All households are encouraged to look out for the pamphlet that will be delivered by Singapore Post to their mailboxes in the coming days.
Residents should note the specified collection date on their pamphlet. They must bring along their pamphlet to collect their free sanitiser at any collection centre.
Each pamphlet will entitle the resident to collect up to 500ml of hand sanitiser.
In addition to the collection details, the pamphlet also provides useful information such as the seven-step hand-washing technique to ensure good hand hygiene. Hand hygiene is an important precaution to minimise or prevent the transmission of germs that cause respiratory infections like flu, common cold, and COVID-19.
2. Bring Your Own Bottle
Residents must bring their own clean, recycled bottle(s) to collect their free hand sanitiser. This #BYOBclean approach is part of our collective responsibility to reuse and recycle bottles and reduce waste.
The recycled bottles may be an empty shampoo bottle, a glass bottle, or an ordinary PET or other plastic bottles. Residents may also bring up to 5 smaller bottles, so long as each bottle has at least 100ml of capacity. Volunteers will affix a special label to each bottle, before residents fill their own bottles with 500ml of sanitiser solution.
A special thank you to our 25,000 volunteers and partners
Temasek Foundation wishes to thank the 25,000 corporate, community and university volunteers who have stepped forward to support this initiative. They will be helping to prepare and distribute the hand sanitiser during the 2-week long exercise.
Organisations such as the Migrant Workers Centre, CapitaLand, SBS Transit and SMRT have also extended their support by helping to develop and refine our collection process.
Mr Desmond Tan, Chief Executive Director of the People’s Association, said, “PA is happy to support Temasek Foundation for the #BYOBclean initiative. It is heartening to see corporates and community organisations stepping forward to help the community during this COVID-19 outbreak. Our grassroots volunteers are happy to support our partners in reaching out to our residents. We look forward to the continued support from Temasek Foundation to serve our residents better.”
Mr Tan Seng Chai, Chief Corporate & People Officer for CapitaLand Group and Executive Director of CapitaLand Hope Foundation, said: “It has been all hands on deck for us at CapitaLand since the Ministry of Health raised Singapore’s DORSCON level to Orange in early February. The health and well-being of our customers, staff and the community remain our topmost concern as we put in place all the necessary precautionary measures at our properties. Temasek Foundation’s Stay Prepared initiative is another opportunity for CapitaLand to play our part meaningfully. The enthusiastic response from our staff volunteers strongly demonstrates that we are all in this together with the community.”
During the #BYOBclean grassroots volunteers training at Pasir Ris Elias Community Club, Mr Lim Boon Heng, Chairman, Temasek, said, “Doing Good for the community is at the heart of Temasek’s DNA. We are very encouraged by the enthusiastic support and ideas from so many organisations and volunteers. Together, we share a common goal – to try our best to help Singapore stay prepared and resilient during this tough and uncertain time. We hope this sanitiser will come in handy for all Singapore residents, for everyone to pick up the habit of washing or sanitising our hands regularly.”
Mr Richard Magnus, Chairman, Temasek Foundation Cares, said, “We would like to thank People’s Association, CapitaLand, Singapore Post and the SP Group. They and many other corporate and community organisations and volunteers have generously lent their support to this logistical undertaking. This is part of a radical and comprehensive battle plan to enable our community to overcome COVID-19. Temasek Foundation and the stakeholders of this initiative stand in solidarity with the government’s plans and actions. We are leaving no stone unturned and will continue to help build social resilience and instill public confidence during this uncertain period.”
Temasek Foundation initiatives to combat COVID-19
Temasek Foundation has been working with multiple partners to provide support in and outside Singapore, in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
These include providing sanitisers to frontline workers in the public transport, immigration, quarantine oversight, community healthcare service providers and many others.
Temasek Foundation recognises that the COVID-19 outbreak requires a global response to combat against this global pandemic. By containing or slowing its spread, we can reduce the cost to human lives and livelihoods. Each of us, individuals, companies, governments and various institutions can do our part to help break the infection transmission.
#BYOBclean is enabled by the T-PREP Fund, managed by Temasek Foundation since 2014. Other Stay Prepared initiatives included the distribution of N95 masks to all 1.2 million households nationwide in 2014, to prepare the community for potential severe haze or a flu pandemic. During the 2015 severe haze in South East Asia, AIR+ Smart Masks and Micro Ventilators were distributed to 13,000 children from low-income families and children’s homes, as well as to 29,000 elderly aged 60 years and above and staying in an HDB rental flat.
For more information about the #BYOBclean initiative, members of the public may visit stayprepared.sg/BYOBclean, or call the hotline at 1800-738-2000, from 9am to 9pm daily between 16 March to 5 April 2020.