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Monday, July 13, 2020

Singapore rules out mandatory use of contact-tracing app

Singapore Foreign Affairs Minister, Vivian Balakrishnan said that the app, TraceTogether does not work well on iOS devices since they suspend Bluetooth activity while the app runs in the background.

By: Bloomberg | Singapore | Published: June 5, 2020 12:18:12 pm
singapore news, singapore coronavirus outbreak, covid-19 news, singapore lockdown, indian express Since its launch on March 20, 1.5 million of 5.7 million residents have installed the app. (AP/File)

Singapore is ruling out the mandatory use of a contact tracing app as a tool to monitor and track the Covid-19 spread in the country, Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan said in parliament on Friday.

The app, named TraceTogether, doesn’t work as well on iOS or Apple devices since they suspend Bluetooth activity while the app runs in the background, Balakrishnan, who’s also Minister-in-charge of the country’s Smart Nation initiative, said.

The government has had discussions with Apple Inc. on the issue but has yet to find a satisfactory solution.

“Because TraceTogether does not work equally well across all smartphones, we have decided therefore at this point in time, not to mandate the compulsory use of TraceTogether,” Balakrishnan said.

Since its launch on March 20, 1.5 million of 5.7 million residents have installed the app, he said.

The government is working on an alternate contact tracing method which would involve a portable wearable device that doesn’t require a smartphone, he said. If successful, the government will distribute the equipment to everyone in Singapore.

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