Authorities reviewing use of TraceTogether, Vaccination Differentiated-SMMs, may stand it down when no longer required

Measures that will be reviewed include the use of TraceTogether, SafeEntry and Vaccination-Differentiated SMMs (VDS).

Muhd Zahin Ilmi

Sports enthusiast and expert overthinker.

Published: 4 April 2022, 4:45 PM

The authorities will consider further easing of the prevailing safe management measures (SMMs), including the use of TraceTogether, once COVID-19 cases subside further.

This included standing it down when it is no longer needed, said Minister of Health Ong Ye Kung in Parliament on Monday (Apr 4). 

Mr Ong said that the Ministry of Health (MOH) no longer relied on TraceTogether for contact tracing for the general public. 

Individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 were no longer required to upload their data onto TraceTogether and are expected to take responsibility to notify their contacts to self monitor.

This is because there is no longer a need to contact trace every case, due to Singapore’s high vaccination rate and commitment to living with COVID-19

As Singapore makes further progress to live with COVID-19, Mr Ong said that the MTF will review its (TraceTogether) relevance and application to “stand it down when it is no longer needed”, but will continue to maintain its capability to restart should Singapore encounter a more dangerous variant of concern.

However, Mr Ong said that VDS and SafeEntry checks are still required now as unvaccinated or non-fully vaccinated persons are still more likely to fall very ill if they are infected by the Omicron variant.

As of now, Mr Ong stated that Singapore has about “3.5 per cent of the adult population that are not fully vaccinated” and account for over one fifth of cases that require Intensive Care Unit (ICU) care or die.

Mr Ong added that while the patient load at hospitals have eased, hospitals still remain very busy due to the recent easing of SMMs and resumption of visitors to hospitals. 

Therefore, Mr Ong believes that keeping the VDS is the “correct cause of action now” as it will help to lower the risk of non-vaccinated patients getting infected which will prevent adding workload to the health care workers.

Mr Ong said: “When we are sure that the situation in hospitals is stable and improving, we (MTF) will review the VDS and consider if we can reduce the number of settings or remove it completely.”

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