Wednesday, 25 Nov 2020

Collect TraceTogether tokens at nearest CC, no rush necessary: Vivian Balakrishnan

SINGAPORE – There is no need for Singaporeans to rush to collect the TraceTogether tokens, said Minister-in-charge of the Smart Nation Initiative Vivian Balakrishnan on Sunday (Oct 25).

The contact tracing devices can currently be collected at 38 community centres, but will be available at all 108 community centres by the end of next month.

Dr Balakrishnan said that from Monday, Singaporeans are advised to collect their tokens from their own community clubs and use the Token Go Where website to see when the schedule for distribution would begin in their areas.

This is to prevent long queues building up at distribution points.

He was speaking to the media at Buona Vista Community Club on Sunday evening, after reports of long queues at some of the collection points on the first weekend since the Government announced that checking in with the TraceTogether app or token would be mandatory by end-December at all public venues, including restaurants, workplaces, schools and shopping malls.

He also assured that there would be more than enough tokens.

“We will adjust the numbers supplied to meet the demand, obviously, and our contracts allow us to make those necessary adjustments,” he said.

The current target number of tokens to be produced is about 2.7 million, but this number can be adjusted in accordance with demand, said Dr Balakrishnan, who is also Foreign Minister.

When the tokens were first rolled out, the priority was to distribute them to senior citizens and those who may not have access to a smartphone.

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But people’s preferences will also be taken into account, as some Singaporeans have given feedback that they prefer using the token to the app, said Dr Balakrishnan.

“I want to provide people with that option, because the key thing is participation – the overall participation in the TraceTogether programme,” he said.

Even though the current number of locally transmitted cases is very low, it is not a time to be complacent, and contact tracing continues to be critical, he said.

Currently, over 50 per cent of the population – more than 2.5 million people – have downloaded the TraceTogether app, and over 400,000 tokens have been distributed, he added.

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Dr Balakrishnan said: “I would also make the assurance that the implementation of the TraceTogether-only Safe Entry programme will not proceed until we make sure that everyone has access to either a token or the app and is comfortable using it.”

He also said that in the months ahead, if the situation worldwide improves and the borders can open up more, foreigners will also need to participate in the TraceTogether programme either through the app or some form of a token.

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