450,000 contact-tracing devices to be given to workers in dorms, selected industries

The BluePass tokens will be worn with a Velcro strap like a watch, and will only collect data from close-contacts from other devices. ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH

SINGAPORE - Over 450,000 workers living or working in dormitories and the construction, marine shipping or process sectors will receive contact-tracing devices in phases from Sunday (Oct 18) to early November, said the Government on Friday.

The contact-tracing devices, known as BluePass tokens, are "purpose-built for the dormitory and work site environment" said the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), Building and Construction Authority (BCA) and the Economic Development Board (EDB) in a joint statement.

The BluePass tokens will be worn with a Velcro strap like a watch, and will only collect data from close-contacts from other devices, said MOM, BCA and EDB.

The data on the devices will be encrypted and no personal identifiable information will be stored on each device.

The tokens are also compact and water resistant, the statement said.

They will be issued by the Assurance, Care and Engagement (ACE) Group, a division of MOM, in partnership with the Smart Nation and Digital Government Group, BCA, EDB and industry partners such as the Singapore Contractors Association.

The ACE Group and relevant agencies will trial and evaluate the performance of the tokens in a work environment.

They will also look into how the data from the tokens can help improve contact tracing and the quarantine process when new Covid-19 cases are detected.

"This will benefit employers and workers because only close contacts will be isolated, thereby minimising any work disruptions," said MOM, BCA and EDB.

The contact-tracing devices can work with and complement the TraceTogether app on migrant workers' smartphones, as some workers may not always be carrying their phones at work and at the dormitories.

The devices will be distributed to migrant workers living in dormitories with the support of the Forward Assurance and Support Teams (Fast). Workers living in other types of accommodations will be issued the devices at their rostered routine testing locations.

Employers and workers will be told about collection dates for the tokens, said the joint statement.

The devices will be given free to employers in the construction, marine shipyard and process sectors for now, with MOM currently evaluating the cost for future deployment.

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