The governments of Taiwan and Macau have emerged as the most ready in this coronavirus pandemic outbreak, with only 59 cases in Taiwan and 11 in Macau.
The secret behind their success turned out to be face masks. In the two countries which are amongst the most crowded in human proximity in the world, everyone wears a face mask regardless if they are healthy or not. This prevent infected with no symptoms from spreading to healthy individuals in crowded areas.
Case studies around the world have also shown that the virus can spread in the absence of coughs or sneeze. The air the infected breathed is enough for transmission, and the virus can stay airborne for up to 3 hours according to clinical studies.
Taiwan and Macau are enjoying the fruits of their successful government policies with no exorbitant shut down of the economy required, as seen in China, Italy and South Korea.
Even China today, has also brought the outbreak under control with only 5 new cases reported yesterday. China has made it illegal for anyone to be in public without a face mask, and local police actively patrols the streets and arrest uncooperative individuals.
Countries that wrongly adopted the World Health Organisation (WHO) complacent advice of not wearing a mask when healthy, are suffering. Singapore is among the worst, with a 100% spike in the past 2 weeks, after Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong told Singaporeans not to wear one if they are not sick.
Singapore has ran out of face masks, including doctors at GP clinics. The Singapore government last issued 4 pieces of face masks to every household, or 0.8 per person, on 31 Jan. There have been no update on second distribution since then.
What Singapore need today is a face mask for everyone on the street. The face masks are out of stock, and so the natural course of action is to fabricate your own. With the hundreds of billions in reserves the Singapore government boasts everyday, how much does it cost to create your own face mask factory? Each face mask costs only a few cents to manufacture, and it is no rocket science. The answer of course is the lack of political will, and not the means.