February 28, 2024

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Singapore’s Digital Pivot: Adapting to a Post-Pandemic Future

In a significant development heralding a new phase in the fight against COVID-19, Singapore has officially discontinued the use of its pioneering digital contact tracing systems, TraceTogether (TT) and SafeEntry (SE). This strategic move represents a paradigm shift as Singapore transitions towards managing the virus as an endemic disease, reflecting the nation’s confidence in its evolving response strategies.

The decision to discontinue these digital contact tracing systems stems from the implementation of Part 11 of the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act, a legislative framework introduced in February 2021. The primary objective of this section was to assure the public that personal contact tracing data collected by digital systems, such as TT and SE, would be used solely for contact tracing purposes or for criminal investigations related to serious offences.

Senior Minister Teo Chee Hean, overseeing digital government and public sector data governance, in consultation with Health Minister Ong Ye Kung, determined that the digital contact tracing systems were no longer required to prevent or control the spread of COVID-19. This decision is grounded in the assessment that the risk of a severe COVID-19 outbreak necessitating the immediate reactivation of TT and SE is currently low.

As of February 1, 2024, all COVID-19-related personal contact tracing data derived from TT and SE has been systematically deleted. Notably, an exception has been made for TT data pertaining to a murder case in May 2020, which will be retained indefinitely by the Singapore Police Force (SPF). This retention is deemed necessary to address potential legal challenges to the conviction or sentence that may arise many years after the case has concluded.

The discontinuation process involves the removal of both the TraceTogether and SafeEntry (Business) Apps from official mobile app stores. Furthermore, the backend digital infrastructure supporting these systems has been dismantled, and the respective websites have been shut down. The public is encouraged to uninstall the TT App and SE (Business) App, and users have the option to recycle TT Tokens at designated 3-in-1 e-waste bins across the island.

This discontinuation is a testament to Singapore’s adaptive response to the pandemic, aligning measures with the evolving landscape of the virus and reflecting the nation’s commitment to managing COVID-19 in the long term.

In the wake of the global milestone marking the end of COVID-19 as a global health emergency, significant strides have been made in public health worldwide. The World Health Organization’s (WHO) announcement last year acknowledged the end of the pandemic, ushering in new focus areas and challenges. Notable achievements include the approval of new vaccines for malaria, dengue, and meningitis, along with global efforts to address the health impacts of climate change.

In Singapore, initiatives such as the Healthier SG and the National Mental Health and Well-being Strategy were launched in response to the evolving health landscape. The Healthier SG initiative prioritises preventive and holistic care for residents, while the mental health strategy aims to destigmatise seeking help for mental health needs.

As Singapore steps into 2024, the public health challenges remain substantial. The ageing population, mental health, and the ongoing management of infectious diseases are key focal points. The global importance of ensuring equitable vaccine access, addressing antibiotic resistance, tackling non-communicable diseases, and safeguarding public health amidst climate change challenges remain key.

As Singapore positions itself to confront these health challenges, a comprehensive approach that combines traditional healthcare methodologies with the potential of digital solutions is on the horizon.

The discontinuation of the TraceTogether and SafeEntry systems marks a significant step in adapting digital means for critical event and pandemic management, showcasing Singapore’s commitment to evolving healthcare practices in line with global advancements.

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Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

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CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

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Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

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HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

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IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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