HSA advises against use of surgical masks made by local firm Vision Empire International

SINGAPORE: The Well being Sciences Authority (HSA) has suggested folks to cease utilizing surgical masks made by an area firm which is being investigated for allegedly manufacturing them illegally at a facility in Ubi Crescent.

The ability, which is owned by Imaginative and prescient Empire Worldwide, was suspected to be manufacturing the masks with out a licence from HSA, which is a requirement below the Well being Merchandise Act, the company stated in a press launch on Friday (Jun 11).

HSA stated it had discovered the allegedly unlawful manufacturing and repackaging facility on Might 31. It added that masks had been noticed to be “manufactured in an unhygienic and makeshift environment and placed in carton boxes left out in the open”. 

A complete of 33 cartons, containing about 2,500 masks every, had been seized, it added.

Vision Empire International masks facility (2)

The ability, which is owned by Imaginative and prescient Empire Worldwide, was suspected to be manufacturing the masks with out a licence from HSA. (Picture: Well being Sciences Authority)

The corporate can be suspected to have imported surgical masks from abroad which had been then repackaged and rebranded with its packaging earlier than reselling, when they didn’t have the licence to take action, HSA stated. 

The manufactured and repackaged masks had been bought below the model “Vision Empire Healthcare”, the authority added.

Preliminary investigations revealed that these masks had been bought on native e-commerce platforms from S$10 to S$22 per field of fifty. The listings have been eliminated with the help of the platform directors, and HSA has directed the corporate to recall the merchandise from the market. 

Additional investigations are ongoing, stated HSA.

In advising folks to cease utilizing masks from Imaginative and prescient Empire, HSA stated masks from unlicensed amenities haven’t been verified to fulfill the suitable requirements of high quality, filtration functionality and breathability. 

It added that sub-standard masks might not present the fascinating degree of safety to the wearer.

When CNA contacted Imaginative and prescient Empire Healthcare about HSA’s allegations, gross sales director Kelviin Tay stated he was “quite surprised”. 

“I don’t think it’s true to say it’s illegal because right now, we’re working with them (HSA),” stated Mr Tay. 

“There wasn’t any charge or any conclusion to this,” he added.

Mr Tay stated that the corporate had began manufacturing masks round August final yr, however stopped operations in early February as manufacturing was not possible. 

“We tried to get it to work but it’s not easy, we didn’t produce mass volume,” he stated.

“We (did) have the licence to import and also to export at that point in time, what HSA’s view with us (then) was that they wanted to make sure that (our masks) were compliant,” he claimed.

Mr Tay stated the corporate had despatched its masks for testing and had despatched lab outcomes on their bacterial filtration effectivity to HSA.

The corporate had additionally stopped gross sales on the finish of Might, below HSA’s directions. 

Additional investigations are ongoing, stated HSA. 

HSA stated it should take robust enforcement motion in opposition to those that interact within the unlawful manufacture and/or provide of masks. Anybody who illegally manufactures and/or provides such masks is liable to prosecution and, if convicted, could also be imprisoned for as much as 2 years, fined as much as $50,000, or each.