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Children in Singapore asked to use new COVID-19 tracing technology

Singapore children will need to wear COVID-19 tracing technology to help stop the spread.

A man eats in a restaurant at waterfront in Hong Kong, Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020. Hong Kong and Singapore say they have agreed to a bilateral air travel bubble, re-establishing travel links as coronavirus infections in both cities decline.
A man eats in a restaurant at waterfront in Hong Kong, Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020. Hong Kong and Singapore say they have agreed to a bilateral air travel bubble, reestablishing travel links as coronavirus infections in both cities decline.
Kin /Cheung, Associated Press

Children and adults in Singapore are now required to use a contract-tracing app or use a wearable device, BBC News reports.

  • The technology uses Bluetooth to log contact with other people’s devices, signaling if anyone who gets diagnosed with COVID-19 came into access with other people.
  • People can wear tokens on a lanyard or carried to identify their locations, too.

“Pupils will not be turned away from school if they forget or misplace the tokens,” according to BBC News. “And they are being asked to label them with their name as they are not water- or drop-proof so will need to be removed during some activities.”

  • Singapore’s government may require people to use the app or token when they’re in their workplace, a restaurant or a mall.

The decision aims to allow countries to start and offer contract tracing for the coronavirus.

  • Critics are worried about the privacy concerns from the people who wear it since the tokens will report location data to the government.

Similar devices

This isn’t the first time that a country has used apps and technology to keep people safe from the novel coronavirus. South Korea was one of the first countries to do so.

  • The NBA experimented with wearable technology to identify where players visited during the NBA bubble playoffs earlier in the fall, as CNN reported.
  • Hawaii considered adding a wearable monitor for people who visited the island to make sure they stayed within the bounds of a hotel, as I wrote about for the Deseret News.
  • Back in June, NASA created a wearable device that would warn people not to touch their face out of fears they could give themselves COVID-19, as I wrote for the Deseret News.