After the Conditional Movement Control Order took place on 4 May, many shops are now back in business. The government announced that shop owners are required to register their customers’ contact numbers and addresses – which means your real name and address, not your superhero name – for COVID-19 contact tracing.
While most shops are adhering to the contact tracing rule, not all shops have a digital system for this. Some resort to the good ol’ pen, but it doesn’t make sense that we ALL use the same pen.
Imagine supermarkets, having roughly 500 to 1,000 customers per day, letting all customers share the same pen. The potential of someone transmitting the virus to the pen and registration sheet, and eventually to others, is no joke.
If the pen must be used, these steps need to be taken to minimise the risk of the pen transmitting the virus, according to FMT:
1) Sanitise the hands of every customer before using the pen.
2) Sanitise the pen with every use.
3) Sanitise both hands of the customer and the pen with every use.
4) Staff from the shop/supermarket to write down customers’ details.
5) Or you know, you could bring your own pen!
It may be a lengthy process for shops and supermarkets to follow until a contact tracing app is available, but it’s the best solution to manage large crowds.
FMT also reported that the most ideal way to go forward about this may be the “no-touch” method, using Bluetooth technology to gather data, like Singapore’s ‘Trace Together’ app and others alike used in South Korea, China and European countries.
But of course, there’s the issue of privacy. It is valid to feel sceptical about the privacy of data being collected by shops and whether these businesses comply with the Personal Data and Protection Act. However, contact tracing is one of the most crucial methods to employ to fight this pandemic. So, the people need to be reassured that the collection of data is solely used for the intended purpose and not otherwise.
If you don’t want to take the risk, make sure to bring along your own pen, hand sanitiser, shopping bags and face mask whenever you go out shopping!
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