Singapore’s Ministry of Health (MOH) will review the relevance of the TraceTogether app and vaccination-differentiated safe management measures as Singapore makes progress in living with Covid-19, said Health Minister Ong Ye Kung in Parliament on 4 April.
On the whole, the costs and benefits of TraceTogether changes as Singapore makes further progress in living with Covid-19, Ong said in response to questions from Members of Parliament about the contact tracing app.
“The MTF (multi-ministry taskforce) will therefore review its relevance and application, to stand it down when it is no longer needed, while maintaining the capability to restart it should we encounter a more dangerous variant of concern.”
He added that the Health Ministry will also review vaccination-differentiated safe management measures depending on the situation in hospitals.
“When we are sure that the situation in hospitals is stable and improving, we will review the VDS (vaccination-differentiated safe management measures) and consider if we can reduce the number of settings or remove it entirely,” Ong said.
“Then it will be a matter of individual responsibility of these individuals to take precautions to avoid high transmission settings, or better still, change your mind and get vaccinated.”
Not relying for contact tracing
Ong pointed out that MOH no longer relies on TraceTogether for contact tracing for the general public. “Cases who self-tested positive and go on P2 protocol do not upload their TraceTogether data, and we rely on them to do the responsible thing to inform their contacts to self-monitor,” he said.
“So, there is really no need to compare the data between self-reporting and TraceTogether, because having vaccinated the vast majority of our population and determined to live with Covid-19, we have passed that stage of the pandemic where we contact trace every case.”
However, he acknowledged that agencies that “look after more vulnerable cases”, such as schools, still use TraceTogether for contact tracing.
“Further, the aggregated statistics generated by TraceTogether and SafeEntry can give us a good idea of settings that are more susceptible to transmission of the Covid-19 virus,” he added.