Singapore launches contact tracing mobile app to track coronavirus infections

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The mobile app using Bluetooth technology developed by GovTech in collaboration with the Ministry of Health informs user who had close contacts to confirmed coronavirus cases was launched in Singapore on 20. (AFP/Catherine Lai)
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The mobile app using Bluetooth technology developed by GovTech in collaboration with the Ministry of Health informs user who had close contacts to confirmed coronavirus cases was launched in Singapore on 20. (AFP/Catherine Lai)
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Updated 20 March 2020

Singapore launches contact tracing mobile app to track coronavirus infections

  • The TraceTogether app will work by exchanging short distance Bluetooth signals between phones to detect other participating users in close proximity of 2 meters
  • Users will need to send their logs when requested by the health ministry, which will otherwise not have any knowledge of the data

SINGAPORE: Singapore launched a contact-tracing smartphone app to allow authorities to identify those who have been exposed to people infected with coronavirus as part of efforts to curb the spread of the disease.
Governments around the world have turned to technology to battle the virus.
The TraceTogether app will work by exchanging short distance Bluetooth signals between phones to detect other participating users in close proximity of 2 meters.
Records of the encounters will be stored locally on each phone with the app, developed by Singapore’s Government Technology Agency (GovTech) and the health ministry.
Users will need to send their logs when requested by the health ministry, which will otherwise not have any knowledge of the data, according to an official statement.
Singapore has won international praise for its fastidious approach in tackling the virus — which has included using police investigators and security cameras to help track suspect carriers.
The data stored on users’ phones will be encrypted and the app will not access other information, such as a user’s location.
“The engineering has preserved the privacy of the users from each other,” Janil Puthucheary, a senior minister of state, told reporters.
Singapore has stringent rules to deal with infectious diseases — last month it charged a Chinese couple with giving false information about their movements to authorities looking to trace their contacts.
While downloading the app is not compulsory, the government said it would encourage people to do so.
TraceTogether’s functionality will be suspended after the epidemic subsides, according to its description in the Apple App Store.


Meet the Saudi man who Trump’s COVID-19 Twitter blunder accidently made famous

Updated 30 March 2020

Meet the Saudi man who Trump’s COVID-19 Twitter blunder accidently made famous

  • Donald Trump was meant to tag the Food and Drug Association

RIYADH: It’s not every day that you’re mentioned by the most powerful man in the world, but MLK, better known as @FdA found himself the star of the show when he was tagged on twitter by the leader of the free world President Donald Trump.

A mix-up in Twitter handles found him mentioned on the platform by @realDONALDTRUMP, when President Trump retweeted an article about a research institute that developed technology which “can clean up to 80,000 pieces of PPE (personal protective equipment) for use.” The author of the article says in her tweet that it is a “huge breakthrough in the fight against the #coronavirus.”

The comment on the retweet read: Highly recommended by Governor @MikeDeWine of Ohio. @FDA must move quickly!

Considered an honest mistake, While the actual food and drug administration handle is @US_FDA.

MLK aka @FdA has his location set to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. On twitter, MLK does not follow anyone nor does he have any tweets posted. However, his follower numbers are another story with a cool 16.6 thousand.