SINGAPORE — The Health and Sciences Authority (HSA) has shut down an illegal surgical mask manufacturing and repackaging facility in Ubi Crescent which it uncovered on 31 May.
The masks sold by Vision Empire International and branded under Vision Empire Healthcare were observed by enforcement officers to be manufactured in an unhygienic and makeshift environment and placed in carton boxes left out in the open, said HSA in a press release on Friday (11 June).
A total of 82,500 masks in 33 cartons were seized.
Additionally, the company is also suspected to have imported surgical masks from overseas for repackaging and rebranding without a licence.
HSA said the masks were sold online for between $10 and $22 for a box of 50. Online listings have since been taken down while Vision Empire International has also been directed to recall its unlawful products from the market.
The authority advises consumers who bought these masks to stop using them immediately. "Surgical masks from unlicensed facilities have not been verified to meet the appropriate standards of quality, filtration capability and breathability. Sub-standard masks may not provide the desirable level of protection to the wearer," said HSA.
"Masks manufactured, repackaged and/or stored under unsanitary conditions may potentially be contaminated or exposed to undesirable impurities from the environment. Wearing such masks may increase the users’ risk of developing skin irritation, respiratory symptoms or infections," it added.
HSA also said that it will take strong enforcement action against errant manufacturers. A list of licensed local manufacturers is available online.
Anyone found guilty of illegally manufacturing or supplying masks can be jailed for up to two years and also fined up to $50,000.
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