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Meet Singapore’s COVID-19 Tracing App “TraceTogether”

The Government Technology Agency (GovTech) and the Ministry of Health (MOH) made COVID-19 tracing app naming it as “TraceTogether” to help fight against COVID-19.

The new TraceTogether app uses a community-driven approach to identify contacts of users.  It uses Bluetooth to help the government track down and identify people who have come into close contact with somebody infected with the disease. More than 620,000 people already installed the app.

According to Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister-in-charge of the Smart Nation Initiative, the app which was developed by the Government Technology Agency (GovTech) and the Ministry of Health, the app will be open-sourced and will be available all over the world. This will allow other countries to fight the coronavirus.

“We believe that making our code available to the world will enhance trust and collaboration in dealing with a global threat that does not respect boundaries, political systems or economies,” said Dr. Balakrishnan.

Contact tracing is a complicated process. It involves interviewing patients and asking them questions like places where they have been and persons they met in the past 14 days. The process also takes a long time. 

To cut the long contact tracing short, TraceTogether helps the government identify COVID-19 patients faster. 

“TraceTogether identifies other nearby phones with the app installed. It then tracks when you are in close proximity with these other persons, including timestamps. If the need arises, this information can then be used to identify close contacts based on the proximity and duration of an encounter between the two users,” an article by Singapore Government stated.

“Once an individual is confirmed with the virus, he can choose to allow MOH to access the data in the app to help identify contacts. While this will not replace the contact tracing process, it is a useful addition – especially when there are problems with recall,” the statement added.

Here’s how to use the app:

  1. Enter your mobile number
  2. Enable push notifications
  3. Keep Bluetooth turned on
  4. Leave TraceTogether running

“The simple act of participating innTraceTogether empowers Singaporean to contribute towards a collective social good. The more people adopt TraceTogether, the more effective TraceTogether will be, and the stronger and safe our community will be,” said Smart Nation Singapore.

You can download the app here for Android users:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=sg.gov.tech.bluetrace

And here for iOS users:

http://apps.apple.com/sg/app/tracetogether/id1498276074

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