Visitors To Covid-19 Hotspots Will Get SMS Alerts, Must Take Swab Tests & Self-Isolate

Health Alerts Will Be Sent To Those With Same-Day Exposure

As Covid-19 circulates in the community, the list of locations visited by those infected has also grown.

If you’re concerned that you may have been in the same place as an infected case, you may have been scrutinising that list of logging in to SafeEntry to find out.

Now, those who’ve been to virus hotspots will receive an SMS alert from the Ministry of Health (MOH).

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When that happens, individuals must go for mandatory testing and isolate themselves till they’re cleared.

Strengthening ringfencing of cases

In a media release on Friday (18 Jun), MOH highlighted the need to strengthen the way  potential community cases are ringfenced.

To that end, “Health Alerts” will be sent to those who’ve visited hotspots on the same day as infected persons.

These will be sent via SMS, so people will know that they’ve been exposed without needing to proactively check the MOH or SafeEntry websites.

Mandatory swab tests

People who’ve received the SMS alerts will have to undergo mandatory Covid-19 swab tests.

They will be conducted at designated testing centres.

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After being tested, they will also have to stay isolated until they get the result of the test.

Allowed to go to work after negative test

If their test is negative, they’ll be allowed to go to work if they can’t work from home, MOH said.

When they’re at work, they should comply with safe management measures.

However, they should still take added precautions despite the negative test.

That includes limiting social interactions, as well as restricting their activities to only those that are essential.

DIY test kits to be given out

One benefit of being tested is that Do-It-Yourself (DIY) test kits will be given out.

Those exposed will have to use these kits to test themselves over the next few days.

This is to confirm that they’re not infected.

MOH will release further details about this later.

TraceTogether data to be used

For those who’ve been diligently using TraceTogether to scan into places, all that data will now come into play more obviously.

MOH said they’ll use the data for this measure – thus, if you get a Health Alert SMS, you can be sure that TraceTogether and/or SafeEntry has flagged you as having been exposed.

The measure will give Singapore “greater confidence to resume more activities while preventing transmissions”, MOH added.

Current no way to check out from locations

Speaking of SafeEntry, have you ever realised that even though we have to check in to locations, there’s usually no way for us to check out of them?

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That may mean that you might be identified as being exposed to Covid-19, when the infected person actually visited long after you’d left the venue.

Since TraceTogether and SafeEntry data is so important for contact tracing, the system will now be improved to allow more people to check out of locations.

This will also help contact tracing be more precise.

SafeEntry Check-Out to be rolled out at venues

To the end, SafeEntry Gateway Check-Out Boxes will be progressively rolled out at certain venues.

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The places that will get them in the upcoming weeks will be those with higher visitor footfall, like malls, hospitals and polyclinics.

They may also be places with people are likely to be in close contact for a long time without masks, like dine-in F&B outlets and gyms.

MOH has encouraged members of the public to check out when they leave locations as far as they can.

Do play your part

As many of us can’t tahan more days of restrictions, the measure is a good one to help Singapore open up.

However, it requires Singaporeans to play their part – when you get an SMS, do come down for testing and self-isolate.

Only with the cooperation of everyone can we adapt to this new normal quickly without further damaging our economy.

Have news you must share? Get in touch with us via email at news@mustsharenews.com.

Featured image adapted from Tim Davidson @ Unsplash.

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