We thank Mr Kang Choon Hwee for his letter and also for complying with the quarantine order (Wondering if quarantine order was issued by mistake, April 29).
We would like to reassure Mr Kang that he was not quarantined by mistake.
The TraceTogether app currently shows possible exposure based on a user’s SafeEntry check-in or check-out records from the last 14 days. The exposure data in the TraceTogether app does not cover certain places, such as within healthcare facilities, where close contact is needed for consultation and diagnosis.
In these areas, healthcare personnel employ other means of logging contact, and reduce the risk of exposure and spread through the wearing of protective personal equipment. As Mr Kang’s exposure to the Covid-19 case was in a healthcare facility, there was no exposure alert shown on the app.
However, for contact tracing, we do not rely on SafeEntry data alone. We use the TraceTogether Bluetooth data where feasible, as well as hospital movement logs and interviews with the infected individuals, to identify possible contacts. There was therefore no mistake in Mr Kang’s quarantine.
Mr Kang had been identified as a close contact of a Covid-19 case who had tested positive for Covid-19 infection on April 20, and was issued a quarantine order on the same night after he was identified as a close contact based on TraceTogether data. There was no delay in the issuance of his quarantine order.
Close contacts are quarantined for 14 days from the day of their exposure to an infected individual. As Mr Kang’s close contact with the Covid-19 case was on April 9, his quarantine ended on April 23.
We would like to remind the public to turn on their TraceTogether app or carry their TraceTogether token at all times when they are out, so that we can quickly identify and isolate close contacts of Covid-19 cases, and limit further transmission.
Vernon Lee (Associate Professor)
Contact Tracing Task Group
Ministry of Health