COVID-19: Singapore hands out pocket-sized contact tracer

By Backend Office, Desk Reporter
CoVID-19 Tracker
The authorities is urging the residents to use the device while leaving home.

Singapore has started to distribute a pocket-sized coronavirus contact-tracking device to its residents.

The initiative is part of a planned nationwide roll-out to help the city-state to restart its economy safely.

Like the smartphone app for digital contact tracing, the new box-shaped tracker uses Bluetooth signals to track nearby devices and save encrypted data of a user’s close contacts.

If a user test COVID-19 positive then the authorities can take this equipment and gather all the data regarding others to whom the user may have spread the virus.

The government has plans to distribute this device globally especially aiming at the elderly people as they may not be open to technology or smartphones and are more likely to get infected by the virus.

The Singapore government authorities say that their contact tracking app ‘TraceTogether’ has already been downloaded by about 40% of the residents.

The app has faced problems, especially in Apple phones as its operating system stops Bluetooth scanning while the app runs in the background.

Similarly, these tracking apps have raised severe privacy issues among people in Israel and South Korea but Singapore has assured that its contact tracking device won’t store data more than 25 days and it doesn’t have any internet or cellular connectivity.

Singapore has not yet made it mandatory to use the app or device but it urged the residents to use them while leaving their homes.

The country has one of the lowest fatality rates worldwide with only 27 people dying due to the COVID-19 virus.