SINGAPORE - Electronic Tags to Enforce Quarantine

Arno Froese

Singapore will make some incoming travelers wear an electronic monitoring device to ensure that they comply with coronavirus quarantines as the city-state gradually reopens its borders, authorities said.

Similar measures using electronic wristbands to track peoples’ movements during quarantine have been used in Hong Kong and South Korea.

Travelers to Singapore are required to activate the device, which use GPS and Bluetooth signals, upon reaching their home and will receive notifications on the device which they must acknowledge.

Any attempt to leave home or tamper with the device will trigger an alert to the authorities.

Singapore, which has not given details on what the device will look like, said in a statement that it will not store any personal data and does not have any voice or video recording function.

Under the Infectious Diseases Act, punishments can be fines of up to S$10,000 ($7,272) or imprisonment of up to six months, or both. It has also revoked the work passes of foreigners who flouted the rules.

Singapore has reported 52,825 coronavirus infections, mostly due to mass outbreaks in cramped migrant workers dormitories, but imported cases have been creeping up in recent days., 3 August 2020

Arno's commentary

Singapore is a virtual miracle country. The population stands at 6.2 million, of which 74% are Chinese, 13.4% Malay, and 9% Indian. Religiously, it is divided into 33.2% Buddhist, 18.8% Christian, 14% Muslim. Most amazingly, life expectancy is 86 years, and the people are super rich; per capita GDP stands at $94,100 (2017). This relatively small city-state also presents a favorable balance sheet: exports $396 billion, imports $312 billion.

Coronavirus deaths per million in population are at 0.46, just below South Korea with 0.58.

What does it all mean? Simply answered with two words: total control. Disobeying government rules invites hefty fines up to $10,000 ($7,272 US).

Slowly but surely, we see the southeast Asian countries rising to significance. Also important to emphasize is the diversity of the citizens’ origin and religion. Apparently, the more diverse the mixture, the more successful. That, incidentally, can also be said about Israel, where Jews have returned from virtually the entire world. Thus, globalization seems to work.

Singapore’s rise is primarily due to government enforcement of law. Back in the 1960s, Singapore was a lawless place with an exceedingly high crime rate and much drug addiction. Then, on 9 August 1965, Singapore became independent of the Malaysian Federation. Their legal system is based on English common law. 

The Church in Singapore is growing remarkably and increased from 12.7% in 1990 to 14.6% in the year 2000; today, it’s 18.7%.

Enforcement regarding coronavirus is also taken seriously. Traveling must be declared in detail. Temperature must be taken before worship services. Gatherings of vulnerable groups are suspended. For communion, alternatives such as packaged bread and wine are used. One important Christian leader, Ian Toh, declared: “The first responsibly of the leader is to remain calm. Panic causes tunnel-vision, which is terrible for decision making. Strong leadership reminds people that God is in control of every situation, and there is never a reason to panic.”

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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