Schools in Singapore to distribute TraceTogether tokens to students

The tokens have been distributed to the public since September in CCs.
The tokens have been distributed to the public since September in CCs.ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO

SINGAPORE - Schools will be distributing the TraceTogether (TT) tokens to students so that they will be able to participate in the national contact tracing programme, said Minister-in-Charge of the Smart Nation Initiative Vivian Balakrishnan.

This move will complement efforts to distribute the tokens in community clubs (CCs) islandwide, and Dr Balakrishnan added that the Government intends to manufacture five million tokens by the end of February.

"We will also be distributing tokens through the schools... Those of you with children or students, don't worry. You don't need to rush down to the community clubs. You can also collect a token in school in due time," he said on Wednesday (Dec 23).

He was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a TT token distribution exercise at Kampong Kembangan CC in Eunos.

In a release on Wednesday, the Smart Nation and Digital Government Group (SNDGG) said that more details on this will be shared later, and that students do not need to have their tokens when school reopens next year.

The tokens have been distributed to the public since September in CCs. Since late October, they have been distributed one constituency at a time to prevent long queues from forming.

On Wednesday, Dr Balakrishnan said that the Government has increased its order for the TT tokens and that by the end of February, it would have made up to five million tokens.

The TT app and token work by exchanging short-distance Bluetooth signals with other TT apps or tokens nearby. This proximity data, which is encrypted and stored for 25 days before being automatically deleted, allows quick contact tracing.

Dr Balakrishnan also addressed how there are currently different designs of TT tokens that are being distributed, and said that aside from how they look, they all work the same.

There are currently four different designs of the token that are currently being distributed, he said, adding that the design for the tokens has been changing based on the improvements that have been made to them.

But Dr Balakrishnan stressed that all the four tokens work in the same way, and it does not matter which one people use as they all work well.

"We wanted these tokens to be able to last for six to nine months, and that's why you realise that, especially in the initial designs, we catered for quite a lot of space for battery life," he said.

"But along the way we've also continued to reiterate the design, and that's why you see that today there are four different designs, but they are all fully functional and all have the same facility."

Correction note: This story has been edited for clarity.