News: LKCMedicine student and friends distribute reusable face masks

Seeing the dire need for durable, reusable face masks, LKCMedicine Year 3 student Gabriel Tan, along with a group of friends, joined forces with community movement Masks Sewn with Love in May to provide face masks for essential services staff and vulnerable groups in the community. 

The group of seven friends, which includes students from other schools at NTU, Imperial College London and NUS, had been thinking about how they could help address the global shortage of face masks since February when Covid-19 started to spread rapidly around the globe.

“My friend Matthew, a Year 2 medical student at NUS, and I were worried about community transmission of the coronavirus. The understanding then, and now, was that the coronavirus spreads through droplets,” said Gabriel. 

“As medical students, Matthew and I first began this project hoping to do what we could to help Singapore’s fight against Covid-19,” he added. 

So, they put their heads together to find innovative ways in which they could contribute to this global need. One of the resulting projects led them to team up with Masks Sewn with Love, a national community project that aims to distribute 50,000 masks sewn by volunteers to vulnerable groups in the community and people working at the frontline. 

“We wanted to work together with the existing and local movements. Given their experience in sewing masks for their own distribution, it would allow us to distribute the masks with sufficient time to meet the easing of circuit breaker measures,” said Gabriel. 

By mid-June, the group of friends along with the volunteers from Masks Sewn with Love had sewn 663 face masks. Of these, they presented 160 to the Lions Befrienders Senior Activity Centre to hand out to the seniors at the centre.


The students gave the remaining masks to NTU’s Rotaract Club last week to distribute to cleaning staff and bus drivers working at NTU. 

Looking back at their labour of love, Gabriel said, “I am happy that the efforts of our team can bless others in need.”