The government will begin distributing face masks to every Malaysian home soon.

Defence Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the exercise, which involves 24.62 million masks, will see each home getting four masks purchased by the government.

"The masks are currently being distributed to state disaster management committees (JBPN), after which it will be distributed from house to house by frontliners," he said in his daily COVID-19 crisis briefing, broadcast live on Facebook today.

Ismail, however, reiterated that only those who displayed flu-like symptoms should wear face masks, as per advice from the Health Ministry.

For Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan, the masks will be flown in by the Royal Malaysian Air Force.

Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah had previously stated that only frontliners and have flu-like symptoms need to wear masks, as stipulated by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Social distancing remains the best way to keep COVID-19 infection at bay, he added.

There has been confusion in the matter, however, with some business premises reportedly insisting on their customers on wearing face masks.

On another matter, Ismail said that the COVID-19 Fund has thus far garnered RM22.66 million in donations.

Photo source: Astro Awani