Don't throw away your TraceTogether token or delete the app: Ong Ye Kung, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Don't throw away your TraceTogether token or delete the app: Ong Ye Kung

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Singapore residents should not discard their TraceTogether token or delete the app just yet, as the country may need to step up contact tracing measures if the Covid-19 situation worsens, said Health Minister Ong Ye Kung.

"We are taking a cautious, 'step down but not dismantle' posture for our public health measures," he told Parliament on Monday (May 9).

Any decision to step up measures will depend on the severity of the virus situation, he added. This includes whether there is a new variant of concern, and if it is more severe or more infectious than Omicron.

It also depends on whether past infections and current vaccines continue to confer strong protection against the new variant, and how all these factors affect Singapore's hospital capacity.

Ms Nadia Ahmad Samdin (Ang Mo Kio GRC) had asked if there will be guidelines developed for the reactivation of TraceTogether and SafeEntry as contact tracing tools, to which Mr Ong said no.

"I can understand some members of the public want a system with transparent and clear triggering points," he said. "But I am afraid that is not possible when we are in a pandemic crisis with fog of war."

He reiterated that the Government will do what is necessary to protect lives, and step down measures when they are no longer needed.

Mr Lim Biow Chuan (Mountbatten) asked if Singapore's vaccination-differentiated measures (VDS) will be eased, so that unvaccinated people can dine in at food and beverage outlets.

Mr Ong replied that these measures have been lifted in all except three risky settings - nightlife outlets with dancing, events with more than 500 people present at any one time, and food and beverage outlets.

"We will continue to review our VDS measures as the pandemic situation evolves," he said.