TraceTogether app for COVID-19

TraceTogether app for contact tracing in Singapore

This mobile app had been launched on 20 March 2020 in the midst of outbreak of COVID-19 and quite a number of cases found to be infected from unknown sources. I hope that each and everyone of us will help to do our parts as to keep every person safe in the public places as installing this app will assist to do a great part of contact tracing since when you are roaming around without knowing who you are in contact with.

QR code for user to download TraceTogether

This is what I understand the functionality of this app as to allow users for proactive help in all contact tracing purposes. It only requires a mobile number with Bluetooth enabled smartphone. You just need to give consent during the setup with Bluetooth turn on including enabling push notifications and location permissions for it to work. The app will only work within a short distance apart between phones at a close proximity which will be 2 or up to 5 metres for 30 minutes.

All your encounters with unknown number of people will be stored in your phone and will not be sent to the authorities. This means that you will only be asked to share these records when asked by the MOH for the contact tracing investigations. As we understand that our current method of contact tracing are from those memories of interviewees which will be hard since you will also be in contact with people that you do not have their information. This app is not a replacement of contact tracing efforts instead it will be additional aid to contact users who had close contacts of COVID-19 in a faster manner.

This app helps to intervenes as poor memory will not be a problem to slow down the process of contact tracing which is a key part of strategy to limit local transmission of COVID-19 and speed up the process. With faster contact tracing process to identify people at risk will eventually limiting the spreading locally. This type of monitoring enables users to take necessary action faster for signs of flu like symptoms. As we understand that early detection actually aid to reduction of risk in spreading the virus and protect families and loved ones. Using this app for everyone will mean a better and more effective method of contact tracing as to reduce the risk of local transmission.

As we understand that this app comes with several layers of security and privacy safeguards which means users will only submit their mobile numbers and a user ID will be assigned. With this user ID to be used for generating temporary IDs at regular intervals for exchanged between phones of TraceTogether. This method of generating temporary IDs is for protecting users from eavesdropping and tracking. No personal detail like names will be collected as well as no access to user’s phone contact list or address book. This app does not collect or use the location data as of the GPS. This means the app will not be able to identify the location of exposure to COVID-19 but only establish who might be exposed to the virus in contact. This means that the location will only be established when doing the verbal interviews at that point of time. TraceTogether will encrypt the log file which will be stored in user’s phone. This log file does not contain user’s phone numbers instead it is a set of cryptographical generated temporary ID. This means the logs leave the owner’s phone when using the app to send information to authorities for facilitating the contact tracing. Even then, the authorities or MOH will have no knowledge of the user’s data until it is deciphered and analysed after user submit it. Other than that, it will only operate during the COVID-19 outbreaks and will cease when it is over as the app will prompt users to deactivate.

It is time for everyone to be united and help one another to trace as to bring an end to this deadly virus. Be safe and have a great day ahead.

COVID-19 deadly virus

Updated on 29 March 2020

News about the coronavirus (COVID-19) had reached around 663,740 of infected people around the world and still climbing by the day of spreading. It was said that there were 30,879 death cases while the recovery is 142,183 as of today.

Signs to look out for if you suspect of having COVID-19 will be symptoms of illness like fever, cough or shortness of breath. This will be the typical sign of flu-like symptoms of cough and fever for patients but unfortunately for those having chronic health conditions may develop pneumonia including chest pain or tightness as well as shortness of breath. Most of the infected people tend to start with a slight fever which followed by dry cough before having shortness of breath. It is said that those infected people who are having pre-existing conditions will be at higher risk like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease or hypertension.

Currently, it is said that the COVID-19 has an incubation period of 1 to 14 days but some other sources mentioned it could be up to 27 days. There has been evidence that human to human type of transmission will happen with close contacts. The current situation for the fatality rate seems to be more critical for older people plus those having pre-existing conditions.

Up to date, USA (123,750) and Italy (92,472) had the most infected cases comparing with China (81,439). Locally in Singapore, most of the new cases are related to travel in Europe, North America, ASEAN as well as other parts of Asia. It was announced to public as to defer any non-essential trips to malls as to stay at home and visit outside for essential like food. There has been implementation of stricter safe distancing measures to help containing the spread of COVID-19. The Singapore Government advice all foreign workers and foreign domestic helpers to stay in while on rest days as to avoid crowded gathering in public places and stay 1 metre away from one another.

With the new current measures, all gatherings outside work or school will be limited to 10 people with a distance of 1 metre apart. This also apply to places in shopping centres, supermarkets and restaurants. This means that owners of premises and event organisers will have to ensure non-fixed seating to be 1 metre apart at all times. If the seats are fixed then owners will need to ensure customers are sitting on alternate seats.

In order to curb this deadly COVID-19, we all should be doing our parts to help and end this spreading. It will be best if everyone can isolate themselves for a month with minimum contact outside as it will allow this virus to die off. If not possible, ensure you are at a distance from one another during your outing. Always remember about personal hygiene – that means washing your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds before and after food. Also wash if you come in contact while you are shopping or buying essentials. Try not to touch your face with your hands while you are outside otherwise wash it before touching your face. A good hygiene practice will help us to put an end to this deadly virus. So, let us be united as ONE and help the world to end this pandemic once and for all.