Singapore Rules Out Using Apple, Google Contact-Tracing System - (Bloomberg via NewsPoints Desk)

  • Singapore said it will not use a COVID-19 contact-tracing system jointly developed by Apple and Google, opting instead for its own domestic technology, Bloomberg reported on Monday.

  • After studying the Apple-Google software called Exposure Notification, which was unveiled in April, Singapore officials said that they wanted a contact-tracing system with more detailed information and greater capability to sort through infection histories.

  • "After careful consideration, we decided that it would be less effective in our local context," said minister-in-charge of the Smart Nation Initiative Vivian Balakrishnan, adding that "although a potential close contact would be notified by the system, there would be no way to identify how, when and whom the person was infected by or passed the infection to."

  • "Contact tracing remains a human endeavour requiring human judgment," he noted, adding that "our system will enable the contact tracers to identify the people, venues and activities that pose the greatest risk and enable us to take quick action to treat and isolate any potential patient."

  • Singapore has developed its own mobile app called TraceTogether and it plans to distribute a new portable, wearable device, called TraceTogether Token, to all of its residents.

  • The token is not mandatory for now, though that may change depending on the take-up rate, Balakrishnan said recently.

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