The Smart Nation and Digital Government Office under the Prime Minister’s Office of Singapore announced that the Singapore Government will begin nation-wide distribution of TraceTogether (TT) Tokens to the general public at community sites from 14 September 2020 onwards, with the aim to complete the distribution by November.
Distribution of the Tokens will begin at communities with higher concentrations of elderly. Distribution will start in the Jalan Besar and Tanjong Pagar regions, at 20 community centres/clubs (CCs).
The TT program is Singapore’s national level initiative to help support and supplement contact tracing efforts to reduce the community spread of COVID-19. It consists of the TT app on smart phones and the physical TT Token.
MobiHealthNews earlier reported that the first batch of the TT Token devices were to be delivered at the end of June. According to the Government’s official release, the first batch of TT Tokens was distributed to 10,000 vulnerable seniors from 28-30 June.
In a survey conducted by the Silver Generation Office, close to 90% of the recipients found it convenient to carry the Token with them when they leave home, and more than 70% would bring the Token out most of the time.
From 10 September, a new Self-Check service and SMS service will be launched so that people can be alerted if they have visited the same venues at the same time as COVID-19 cases. Both services will be based on individuals’ SafeEntry records.
Safe Entry is a national digital check-in system which logs visits by individuals to hotspots and venues providing essential services, as well as selected public venues to facilitate contact tracing efforts. Individuals visiting these premises are required to provide key information (e.g. name, NRIC and mobile number).
Currently, anyone who is entering a public venue in Singapore is required to scan a QR code provided at the entrance of the venue with the smart phone, or scan their identity cards upon entry if they do have or wish to use the smartphone.
THE LARGER PICTURE
The Singapore Government is working to enhance SafeEntry to work more closely with TT as the country prepares to gradually open up for more economic and business activities. For certain venues with higher-risk activities such as larger-scale business-to-business events, SafeEntry will require the TT App or Token to check in. Supplementing SafeEntry with proximity data from TT will enhance safety for participants, as they will be ensured of coverage under the TT Program.
This “TT-only SafeEntry” will first be piloted at selected venues, and will be expanded over time once the national distribution of the TT Tokens is well underway.
As of 9 September, Singapore has a total number of 57,166 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 27 related deaths.